Massage notes and news

Thursday, January 16, 2003

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition resulting from reduction in the size of the carpal tunnel, causing pressure on the median nerve running through the wrist. The carpal tunnel formed by eight carpal bones and the transverse carpal ligament, serves as the pathway for the median nerve, which provides sensation to the thumb, index, middle and half of the ring fingers. The tunnel also contains flexor tendons which control finger movement. Anything that causes swelling, thickening or irritation in this area can reduce the pathway, pinching the nerve and affecting the function of the flexor tendons.


- Maintain correct posture and positioning of hands during repetitive activities.
- Flex and stretch muscles before beginning any repetitive task including sports activities.
- Take frequent breaks while working and continue stretching and flexing exercises.
- Alternate tasks to decrease repetitive movements that put pressure on the wrist.
- Design the computer workstation so the keyboard, wrist rest and chair allow for neutral positioning of the wrist.
- Reduce job stress by practicing relaxation techniques and meditation, journaling and getting regular massage.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water or more each day to reduce edema.

An excellent source of good illustrated information can be found at|i=MNI&ArticleKey=2642 on MedicineNet.

You can get a massage for many reasons.

For those people who have minor aches and pain due to overworking or overplaying, a massage will increase circulation to injured areas and speed healing in addition to relaxing tight and achy muscles.

People who work in stressful jobs or jobs that cause repetitive stress injuries (RSI) will benefit by having neck, shoulder and back muscles relaxed and specific problem areas addressed to minimize the need for drugs and/or surgery.

People active in sports or wanting to become more active will benefit by having muscles stretched before activities to increase performance and minimize injuries and afterwards to reduce pain and speed healing.

Individuals with chronic pain conditions benefit for most of the reasons stated above: increased circulation, pain reduction, increased flexibility, relaxation, minimization of drugs and other medical interventions, delay or elimination of surgery.

In conjunction with chiropractic treatments, massage before adjustments can relax muscles to make adjustments easier and allow the doctor to address the actual problem instead of working around and through muscle problems. Massage after chiropractic adjustments can relieve stiffness and soreness caused by the adjustment and can also address why the bones were out of place. Most misalignments are due to muscles pulling bones out of place.

The cost of massage is like the price of anything else, it is controlled by variables. Price is determined by demand, location, type of massage, and the experience of the therapist. Even within your local area, the price for massage will vary greatly. Some therapists will offer a shorter massage for less, but to get the most out of a massage, don't try to bargain hunt. There is no set price for massage but the range is between $30- $75 an hour for a therapeutic massage. The price is typically lower if the therapist has less experience and is just starting out. You will also find a less expensive massage in rural areas, where the cost of living might be lower than the urban areas. On the other hand, operating expenses for therapists in urban areas can be higher making it necessary for them to charge more. In some cases insurance will cover the cost but it usually requires a prescription from your doctor and then you still need to check with your insurance company for approval.

When you want to treat yourself or someone else, a relaxing massage will do most of the things stated above and give you an overall sense of well-being.

Stretching your muscles is very important and can do some of the functions of massage by elongating the muscle and releasing tension. However, stretching should be done slowly and never to the point of pain. Proper breathing during a stretch will maximize the benefit of the stretch. When performing a stretch, once you feel that the muscle has been stretched, hold the stretch, slowly inhale for a count of 5, hold both the stretch and your breath for a count of 2, and then exhale for a count of 5 and feel the muscle stretch a little more. This technique can be performed two additional times for maximum benefits.


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