Workplace massage for carpal tunnel syndrome

February 28, 2012

Bodywork, Healing, Injury, Pain

Carpal tunnel syndrome is not a disease but a musculoskeletal disorder brought on by overworked muscles in the neck, shoulder, arm, forearm and hand.

by Nina Laveson — 

More and more people are afflicted with the repetitive injury, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). It is not a disease but a musculoskeletal disorder brought on by overworked muscles in the neck, shoulder, arm, forearm and hand. Individuals at most risk are those using constant repetitive movements, which cause muscles in the arm to become sore and fatigued. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics research, the cost to businesses for health care and lost productivity owing to repetitive-strain injuries is $11 billion.

Let’s face it; computers are a big part of our lives, and most of us spend a lot of time typing and using the mouse in a repetitive motion. Although computer work is often the culprit, it is just one of many actions that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

According to a Harvard Medical School publication, other causes of CTS include assembly-line work in industries such as manufacturing, serving or meat packing. Other everyday tasks like washing the dishes, driving a car and even turning the pages of a magazine all require you to use your wrist. Think how difficult any of these actions would be if your wrist and fingers constantly hurt.

The good news is that research studies show that massage can help, and many companies that utilize on-site massage see a huge reduction in their employees’ repetitive injuries. Massage therapists use specific techniques that focus on the wrist flexors or the carpal tunnel region. By concentrating on all the muscles and tendons involved, the therapist can break up the pain pattern, bringing relief to the sufferer.

In addition to working areas of the carpal tunnel region, it is also important to address all the regions of the upper extremities and the neck. Often muscles in the wrist turn out to be the “blowout” point.

A 2004 study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida concluded that massage therapy eases the symptoms of CTS. The study found that carpal tunnel patients receiving massage reported significantly less pain, reduced symptoms and improved grip strength than those who did not receive massage.

Massage therapy has proven to alleviate the pain of CTS and prevent further deterioration. When massage is offered at the workplace, it can significantly affect a company’s bottom line by reducing repetitive injuries. Utilizing massage is an inexpensive route that companies can take to make a big difference.

 

Nina Laveson is co-owner of Kinkz Corporate Massage, which offers company-sponsored on-site massage to businesses Valleywide. www.kinkzmassage.com, kinkz@kinkzmassage.com or 480-945-1114.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2009.

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