4 May 2017

Carpal tunnel syndrome; manual therapy versus surgery?


Working as a yoga teacher and massage therapist at a busy yoga centre for over 10 years, I regularly come across people with carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, numbness and weakness in the wrist and hand.  If you have an office based job and spend a lot of time on the computer you are likely to already be putting a lot of strain on your hands and wrists.

According to the the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy nearly 50% of all work-related injuries are linked to carpal tunnel syndrome, and people with this injury are more likely to miss work because of it.
Yoga can put a lot of extra pressure on the wrists (especially if you are a beginner) with downward dog, handstands, plank etc. Many yoga teachers recommend stretching techniques or the use of props to help relieve pain and although these can be useful, a good sports massage or myofascial release treatment can help reduce the symptoms very quickly and the effects can be longer lasting. If you don't nip it in the bud quickly it will only get worse and then surgery is recommended for more severe carpal tunnel, although there's absolutely no need to let it get that bad.

This research article recently published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy proves that massage therapy has a similar effectiveness for improving carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms as surgery. Given that knowledge why on earth would you want to go under the knife?

For pain free wrists and hands book a massage with me at triyoga Chelsea and Soho or Grace Medical Belgravia.