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How To Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Manual Therapy?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) affects millions of people worldwide, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in the hands and wrists. While various treatment options exist, manual therapies like osteopathy, chiropractic care, and massage offer promising avenues for relieving symptoms and promoting overall well-being. In this blog, we will delve into the benefits of these holistic approaches and how they can help alleviate the discomfort associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Before exploring manual therapy options, it's essential to understand the underlying cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS occurs when the median nerve, which runs through a narrow passage called the carpal tunnel in the wrist, becomes compressed or irritated. Repetitive hand movements, improper wrist positioning, and certain medical conditions can contribute to this condition.

Carpal Tunnel Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a hands-on therapy that focuses on the musculoskeletal system's structure and function to promote natural healing. Osteopathic practitioners use gentle manipulations and stretches to reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and restore balance within the body. When it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, an osteopath can help by addressing not only the affected wrist but also the neck, shoulder, and spine, as they are all interconnected.
Osteopathic treatments may include joint mobilization, soft tissue manipulation, and stretching exercises. By reducing tension and improving blood flow, osteopathy can alleviate pressure on the median nerve and provide relief from pain and other symptoms associated with CTS. Additionally, an osteopath may provide ergonomic advice and recommend lifestyle modifications to prevent further aggravation of the condition.

There is a study called "A pilot study evaluating the Effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment in the Management of carpal tunnel syndrome" (Published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 2012) That investigated the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) for carpal tunnel syndrome. The results indicated that OMT led to significant improvements in pain reduction and functional outcomes in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel Chiropractic

Chiropractic care focuses on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system to restore proper function and alleviate pain. And when it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, chiropractors may focus on the spine, neck, shoulder, and wrist to correct any misalignments that could contribute to the condition. By restoring proper spinal alignment and relieving pressure on the nerves, chiropractic adjustments can help reduce symptoms and promote healing. In addition to manual adjustments, chiropractors may recommend exercises, ergonomic modifications, and lifestyle changes to manage carpal tunnel syndrome effectively. These holistic approaches aim to address the root cause of the condition and promote long-term relief.

Massage Carpal Tunnel

By targeting the muscles of the hand, forearm, and upper body, massage therapy can reduce muscle tightness and inflammation, easing the pressure on the median nerve.
Moreover, massage therapy induces relaxation, reduces stress levels, and promotes overall well-being. Stress and tension can exacerbate carpal tunnel symptoms, so managing these factors is crucial for long-term relief.

At home massages

Here are some massages that you can do at home. *You must also consult them with your manual therapist.

Carpal Tunnel Massages at Home
Apply light pressure to the muscles in your shoulder, arm, wrist and hand.
Start your massage using light strokes and avoiding too much pressure (a technique called effleurage). Start from the shoulder and move down the arm to the small muscles in your wrist and fingers.

Carpal Tunnel Massages at Home
Apply deeper pressure friction massage to the shoulder, arm, wrist and hand.
The friction technique accelerates the return flow of lymphatic and venous drainage and relieves edema. It also works in the treatment of scar tissues and adhesions.

Carpal Tunnel Massages at Home
Apply effleurage to finish the massage.
The massage should start and end with light massaging (or effleurage). Effleurage technique helps relax muscles and calms the nerves

Carpal Tunnel Massages at Home
Apply acupressure to the muscle trigger points.
Acupressure spots, or more commonly known as trigger points or muscle knots, can refer pain to the carpal tunnel area. These spots can also be found in the neck and shoulder area. To fully get any benefit, it's important to see a health professional that is trained in trigger point or acupressure treatments.

Carpal Tunnel Massages at Home
Apply kneading massage to the muscles in your shoulder, arm, wrist and hand.
The kneading technique, also called petrissage manipulation, causes the metabolic residues that have accumulated in the muscles and under the skin to join back into circulation. Kneading may also improve the tonus and elasticity of your muscles.

By seeking the expertise of skilled practitioners and adopting a comprehensive treatment plan, you can enhance your chances of finding relief from carpal tunnel syndrome and regain the functionality of your hands and wrists.

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