Can Massage Therapy help Carpal Tunnel?

February 24, 2024

This is a mixed response question. Like most things concerning joints, muscles, and the human body… it all depends. Is this tested for and diagnosed carpal tunnel that requires surgery? Or, are you experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, and you’re in the process of being tested to see if surgery would help?

If you have been tested and the test indicates the need for surgery – massage may not help reduce symptoms of pain and numbness but Manual Lymph Drainage could help with the surgery recovery process.

Massage Therapy may be able to help Carpal Tunnel symptoms when the symptoms are related to muscle tension/ repetitive use that causes inflammation in the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Muscle tension means tension on the tendon. Overuse of your hands can also aggravate the tendon in the Carpal Tunnel causing inflammation. When the tendons are rubbin up in the carpal tunnel it usually ends up inflamed as the tissue needs to repair itself, this can create pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. Overuse of your hands can also aggravate the tendon in the Carpal Tunnel causing inflammation.

And then it sucks to hold things or move your wrist. But who can go a day without using their hands if you got em?

There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms.

The Mayo Clinic outlines these risk factors:

Risk factors

Several factors have been linked with carpal tunnel syndrome. Although they may not directly cause carpal tunnel syndrome, they may increase the risk of irritation or damage to the median nerve. These include:

  • Anatomical factors. A wrist fracture or dislocation can alter the space within the carpal tunnel. Arthritis that causes changes to the small bones in the wrist can affect the carpal tunnel. These changes can put pressure on the median nerve.People who have smaller carpal tunnels may be more likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Sex assigned at birth. Carpal tunnel syndrome is generally more common in women. This may be because the carpal tunnel area is relatively smaller in women than in men. Or it may be due to the effect of hormones on the lining of the tendons in the carpal tunnel.Women who have carpal tunnel syndrome also may have smaller carpal tunnels than do women who don’t have the condition.
  • Nerve-damaging conditions. Some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, increase the risk of nerve damage, including damage to the median nerve.
  • Inflammatory conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis, gout and other conditions that cause swelling, known as inflammation, can affect the lining around the tendons in the wrist. This can put pressure on the median nerve.
  • Medicines. Some studies have shown a link between carpal tunnel syndrome and anastrozole (Arimidex), a medicine used to treat breast cancer.
  • Obesity. Being obese is a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Body fluid changes. Fluid retention may increase the pressure within the carpal tunnel, irritating the median nerve. This is common during pregnancy and menopause. Carpal tunnel syndrome that happens with pregnancy generally gets better on its own after pregnancy.
  • Other medical conditions. Certain conditions, such as thyroid disorders, kidney failure and lymphedema, may increase the chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Workplace factors.¬†Working with vibrating tools or on an assembly line that requires repeated movements that flex the wrist may create pressure on the median nerve. Such work also may worsen existing nerve damage. Pressure on the nerve can be worse if the work is done in a cold environment.

I have helped people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome like symptoms with intentional hand, forearm, and arm massage.
We talked about their symptoms, when the pain or numbness happens, the severity, if they were in treatment or in the process of diagnosis for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as a chronic condition that would benefit from surgery.
It usually requires a few appointments to get you to a good baseline, but I also equip you with relatively easy self massage techniques so you treat as needed between sessions, and well after the program ends.

Mayo clinic really should be mentioning massage a possible way to help Carpal Tunnel symptoms. I have helped a number of people improve the use their hands and wrists.

Now they’re like “Carpal Tunnel who?”


If you are experiencing carpal tunnel symptoms and are in the process of being tested for carpal tunnel or the test did not indicate the need for surgery in the Worcester, Massachusetts area,
— schedule a 1 hour massage appointment with me and see if massage therapy is the missing piece of your healing process. Manual Lymph Drainage massage would also be included in my massage approach for Carpal Tunnel to help reduce the inflammation specifically.

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