Massage as Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What do you do if your doctor tells you that you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?  While highly effective, massage for Carpal Tunnel is often not brought up by conventional doctors. Symptoms of CTS include numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand and fingers as well as pain that can radiate up the forearm.  The pain is caused by constant pressure on the median nerve – the main nerve to the hand.  The pressure most often results from swelling or thickening of the wrist tendons due to repetitive wrist movements.  Poor office ergonomics, turning a wrench or using tools all day, playing an instrument, or sleeping in an awkward position can cause or exacerbate CTS.

Traditional treatments recommended by MDs for Carpal Tunnel have been anti-inflammatory or steroidal medication and splinting the wrist to limit movement. While splinting helps the patient avoid lying awkwardly on the wrists while sleeping, it can actually cause additional swelling during the day, as he or she goes about performing normal daily activities. The medications can have side effects and only last as long as they are taken regularly.

Also, very commonly, patients undergo surgery to sever the swollen carpal ligament, thereby creating space for the median nerve so it is not being constantly compressed. Unfortunately, surgery isn’t the magic bullet for relief of CTS symptoms either – after surgery, some still feel pain, tingling, and numbness. Sometimes, even a successful surgery does not last and once the patient goes back to the work or the hobby they used to enjoy, the condition eventually returns.

An alternative not always considered, is massage. Many patients have had success using massage for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and are often able to rid themselves of the condition altogether. Massage helps relieve CTS symptoms by breaking down scar tissue and adhesions in the muscles of the wrist and forearm, caused by trauma or overuse. Restoring the affecting muscles to full elasticity allows the wrist to move more freely, as it is supposed to, easing friction on the inflamed areas.  Massaging and stretching the tendons and ligaments of the wrist directly further aids recovery by relieving the pressure these tendons and ligaments are putting on the Median nerve that is causing the pain and tingling.

CTS symptoms will not disappear after one massage treatment but they can improve significantly and continue to improve with further treatment. Massage therapists can also teach you specific stretches for the hands and forearms to relieve CTS symptoms and help you remain symptom-free.

If you suspect you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or another medical condition or are currently being treated for CTS, please consult your physician before beginning any new treatment.

Partnership with ErgoFit Offers New Way to Improve Employee Well-Being

51ba7a5ddbd0cb034600054b._w.540_s.fit_Employees who de-stress together, work better together.

We know this for a fact — the combined symptoms of stress cost business $200 billion a year due to decreased productivity and increased health and medical expenses. On the other hand, when employees are healthy and stress-free, they’re more productive, feel happier, and have more energy.

So, how do you decrease workplace stress? It can be as easy as a 15-minute massage.

At Dreamclinic, we understand the importance of a healthy team in any organization, from a small, local business to a Fortune 500. That’s why we offer a range of Dreamlinic Workplace Massage services to enhance company wellness, including onsite chair massage or clothed table massage, on a recurring basis or for one-time events.

And now, we’re offering one more easy way to stay healthy at work, thanks to a new partnership with ErgoFit.

ErgoFit provides expert ergonomic consultations and assessments in offices, laboratories, and industrial workplaces. Services range from workstation evaluations to providing employee education about office well-being to design consultations during construction projects. ErgoFit has worked with companies like Facebook, Safeway, Woodland Park Zoo, and other clients around the world.

This new partnership is an added benefit of our workplace massage services and gives our customers yet another way to de-stress at work. Just like massage, the correct ergonomic setup at the workplace can increase productivity, help employees feel better, and save companies money.

The ErgoFit team is committed to advancing workplace productivity so clients can have healthy and vibrant businesses. Founded by Deborah Read, an occupational therapist with over 25 years of fitness training experience, ErgoFit’s services provide immediate relief and help prevent long-term injuries.

“A true professional, Deborah is passionate about safety in the workplace. Her assessment and product recommendations were timely and cost-effective, her manner upbeat and positive. Deborah’s occupational therapy perspective ensures business owners focus on the proactive goal of injury prevention, ” said ErgoFit client, Kathryn Barrett, president at Aging Matters LLC.

We’re very excited about this new partnership — our workplace massage services combined with the expertise of ergonomic consultants at ErgoFit makes Dreamclinic the go-to place for total wellness. Massage is already a great way to reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace, while also treating aches and pains that are associated with repetitive work. And now, being able to refer clients to an ergonomics consultant offers even more solutions to alleviate common workplace injuries.

To learn more about what Dreamclinic Workplace Massage and ErgoFit have to offer, contact us.

Pain Relief for Musicians

by Diana Khoury

Professional and aspiring musicians are athletes of their own kind. They practice often and prepare extensively for performances, exerting a physical toll on their bodies. Pain and repetitive stress injuries are common. Since musicians lack the built-in support system that sports athletes have (coaches, trainers, medical staff), most are on their own when it comes to caring for their primary instrument – their bodies. This, and the stigma of injury, keeps many musicians from dealing with the problem until they are physically unable to play.

Musculoskeletal pain in musicians results from a combination of poor body mechanics, lack of stretching, muscle overuse, repetitive movement, or reactivation of old injuries.

The most common issues encountered among musicians are: tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle spasm/ cramping, repetitive stress injury, nerve entrapment, and neck, shoulder and back pain. Each of these conditions may involve inflammation, hypertonic (overly tense) muscles, and pain. Pain occurs when a muscle ‘locks up’ and no longer has the ability to expand or contract naturally. Medication is often prescribed to alleviate symptoms, but it does not address the underlying cause(s) of pain and often has unwanted side effects.

musican massage

After many years in the business, musicians become accustomed to playing through their pain rather than seeking help. Or, they might not know what they can do about it. Massage can be a beneficial course of treatment. A therapeutic massage helps ‘unlock’ and release the offending muscle group(s), thus reducing pain, increasing circulation and oxygenation, removing toxins and improving range of motion.

“The good news is that muscle pain is treatable. As doctors Janet G. Travell and David G. Simons say in Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, ‘When patients mistakenly believe that they must “live with”…pain because they think it is due to arthritis or a pinched nerve that is inoperable, they restrict activity in order to avoid pain. Such patients must learn that the pain comes from muscles, not from nerve damage, and not from permanent arthritic changes in the bones. Most important, they must know it is responsive to treatment. This gives the pain a new meaning. When these patients realize the twin facts that their pain is myofascial and is treatable, their lives take on new meaning and they are started on the road to recovery of function.’”1

The most important aspect of a musician’s injury recovery is self-care. A comprehensive wellness plan may include exercise, body awareness, improved ergonomics, regular stretching and rest breaks from practice. In addition, partnering with a massage therapist to receive ongoing treatment is preventive care against further injury.

This is an original article from Dreamclinic, Inc. Dreamclinic is a Health and Wellness company committed to sharing information about commonly experienced health conditions and how they may be impacted through the use of bodywork and other natural approaches. Dreamclinic offers massage, acupuncture, and Reiki sessions at its Greenlake and Queen Anne clinics, as well as onsite massage at workplaces around Puget Sound. Contact us to learn more about how Dreamclinic can help you, your family or your workplace experience greater health.


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