If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, you know how much it can interfere with your daily life. The uncomfortable sensation — or lack of sensation — in your hand or arm can make it difficult to accomplish even the simplest of tasks. Whether it’s tying your shoes, typing on your computer at work, or texting on your phone, carpal tunnel syndrome can turn a seemingly simple task into a major obstacle.
As you get more frustrated, you might find yourself desperate for a solution. The most drastic option is to try a splint — the traditional therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome — but a splint can get in the way of your daily activities almost as much as they symptoms of carpal tunnel itself. Another common option is to mask the pain with analgesic drugs. However, more patients than ever are looking to avoid having to resort to prescription and over-the-counter drugs to deal with chronic pain. For carpal tunnel syndrome, one of the all-natural alternative options you may want to consider before trying a splint or a drug regimen are is neuromuscular massage therapy (NMT). Read on to learn more about why NMT is ideally suited to treat a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Research on Massage Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
For years, scientific researchers have been looking to develop effective treatment methods for carpal tunnel syndrome. Recent efforts have focused on the development of massage-based therapeutic strategies for carpal tunnel syndrome, but the research results have been mixed. In most studies, massage therapeutic strategies seem to provide some benefits for carpal tunnel patients, but the results are not fully conclusive. Many of the studies have been small, and it has been difficult to control for external factors. Therefore, scientists have not yet been able to definitively argue that any single one of the massage therapy methods that have been tested in studies is a universal cure for carpal tunnel syndrome.
But if you think about it, that makes sense, based on the way carpal tunnel syndrome works. The fundamental cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of a nerve in the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in your wrist. However, the frequency and severity of your symptoms can also be influenced by the particular anatomy of your wrist, other health problems you may have, and certain repetitive hand motions that you do on a daily basis. In short, the nature of carpal tunnel syndrome is highly individualized, so it is no surprise that scientists have not been able to identify a single treatment strategy that works for a wide range of patients.
Indeed, many of the clinical studies that provide support for the efficacy of massage for carpal tunnel syndrome include self-massage. And even when patients are directed to follow a general self-massage technique, the way that they do the self-massage is inevitably individualized. For instance, the locations that they target and the force with which they push during a self-massage may depend on their pain tolerance and the areas of their wrist and arm that hurt the most. Thus, the research results on self-massage for carpal tunnel syndrome suggest that — in accordance with the nature of carpal tunnel syndrome itself — the ideal management strategy must be highly personalized.
Neuromuscular Massage Therapy (NMT) for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
That’s why neuromuscular massage therapy is an ideal option for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. During an NMT session, the massage therapist reacts to the patient’s needs. You can let the therapist know when the pressure is exceeding your pain tolerance or whether you would prefer them to press harder. The NMT therapist can also target particular trouble spots that are specific to the nature of your carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, if your carpal tunnel syndrome is exacerbated by repetitive motions such as typing on your computer, the massage therapist can direct the treatment to relieve pain from these movements. Alternatively, if your carpal tunnel syndrome was initiated by a wrist injury like a fracture, the therapist can adjust the treatment to promote long-term healing.
The effectiveness of neuromuscular massage therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome can also increase over time, as your therapist learns more about the nature of your condition and the way you respond to certain types of treatment. They can even provide you with education about individualized self-massage strategies that can help speed your recovery and promote your overall health and wellness.
If you are struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome and don’t know what to do, it might be worth giving neuromuscular massage therapy a try. At Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness, we offer NMT for a reasonable price, and our therapists are experienced in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Contact us today to set up an appointment and learn more about all of the services we offer!