Did you know that, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of American adults suffer from chronic pain due to an injury or musculoskeletal disorder? One of the more common types of these disorders is a wrist issue known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The nerves for the hands and fingers go through a channel in the middle of the wrist known as the carpal tunnel, named after the wrist bones, or carpals. Tension in other parts of the body, poor posture, and overwork can lead to a tightening of this channel which causes pain in the nerves running through it. This disorder afflicts more than 8 million Americans. The US Department of Labor has called carpal tunnel syndrome an “epidemic”, and it has cost employers millions. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is the second most common type of musculoskeletal surgery, with over 230,000 surgeries performed each year. This issue is of great importance to employers. Carpal tunnel syndrome can greatly impact a person’s ability to do their job well, and pain-free.
While working with a doctor is of the utmost importance when dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, they’ll likely tell you to look into massage and various kinds of stretching exercises. Once you’ve got the clear from your doctor, consider the following treatments to ease your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
Massage from a Licensed Therapist
One effective way to treat carpal tunnel is through massage. While some self-massage techniques can also help a great deal, there’s nothing like having the real deal, especially from an experienced therapist, or one that specializes in working with carpal tunnel syndrome clients. As with any one-on-one kind of therapy, it may take a few tries to find the right fit for you. And, once you’ve found the right therapist, it can take up to 4-6 sessions for long-term relief, though most people report feeling relief after the first session.
DIY Stretches and Exercises for Carpal Tunnel
Here are a few go-to stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome and pain in the arms and wrists. Before you get started, it’s important to have the right mindset. Throw the old notion of “no pain, no gain” out the window. If one of these techniques doesn’t feel good, or causes you pain, slow down, back down on effort, or stop completely. Check with your doctor if you’re unsure about whether an exercise is right for you.
Shake it out.
This one is very simple and easy. Simply shake your hands like you’re trying to shake drops of water off them. Do this for up to a minute or two. This exercise can be especially helpful at night, or in the morning if you wake with any pain or numbness.
Fist to Stop Sign
This is another simple one. Make a fist. Then, keeping your fingers together, slide your fingers up towards the ceiling making the stop sign. Repeat 5-10 times.
Fist to Fan
This exercise is similar to the exercise above, except you’re fanning out your fingers instead of making a stop sign. Make a fist. Then, spread your fingers apart, as far as they’ll go. Repeat 5-10 times.
Open your hands. Touch each finger to your thumb, one at a time, do this 5-10 times on each hand.
Basic Wrist Stretches
For this exercise, you’ll need a table or some surface that will allow you to rest your elbow and arm comfortably while allowing the hand and wrist to hang off the edge. You may also be able to use the corner of a table, by placing yourself at an angle. To start, keep your hand flat and neutral. Bend your hand back towards you, pointing the fingers up, and hold for five seconds. Return to a straight and neutral position. Next, bend your hand down, and away from you, so the fingers are pointed down, and hold for five seconds. Repeat ten times on each arm. This can be done up to three times per day.
Use Biofunctional Health to Find Relief
Are you looking to better support your employee’s physical health? Are you worried about the number of your employees who are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, and the impact that has on their work? Biofunctional Health employs highly trained massage therapists who practice functionally optimized massage. Functionally optimized massage is an evidence-based and technology-enabled hands-on treatment system trusted by professional athletes and Fortune 500 companies. If you’re ready to save money on healthcare costs, help prevent workplace injuries and relieve your employee’s pain, reach out to Biofunctional Health today and ask about their functionally optimized massage services.
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