2 Your Health

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Can Massage Help?

Heidi Overman, LMT #MT-24997

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)? As defined by Ruth Werner’s A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, CTS is a set of signs and symptoms brought about by the entrapment of the median nerve between the carpal bones of the wrist and the transverse carpal ligament that holds down the flexor tendons.

Ok, what? What does that mean to me?

It means that your wrist hurts when you use it and over time, it becomes extremely painful. You may feel tingling, pins and needles, burning, shooting pain, weakness, or intermittent numbness. It can be an occupational hazard for those who perform repetitive movements for several hours per day. Those who work with keyboards, string instruments, checkouts, line workers, bakers, tech devices, and more.

It is important that a doctor diagnose this as there can be many reasons for this pain, such as a neck injury, herniated discs, thoracic outlet syndrome, arthritis, tendinosis, and more.

In my practice, I have noticed that the elbow area and shoulder also can be painful and inflamed. I am aware that your muscles are directly involved in many of these conditions. Repetitive motions get ingrained in your muscles which leads to inflammation and injury.

I have had particularly good results in helping to relieve this pain and helping the client through several modalities. Massage has been shown to contribute to improvement in strength, function, and symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

If you are interested in a therapeutic massage, please call me at MEND Therapeutic Massage and Restorative Skincare for an appointment at 520-771-1514. My website is www.mymendingplace.com, and I’m located at MEND Therapeutic Massage and Restorative Skincare at 15930 N Oracle Rd., Ste 160 Tucson, AZ 85739 (next to the Golden Goose).

Common Mistakes in the Treatment Of Back Pain

Dr. Craig Brue, D.C.

I have been treating back and neck pain for over 45 years, and there are a few common mistakes that patients make in their choice for the treatment of painful spine conditions. If you avoid these common mistakes, you will have a better chance of overcoming back and neck pain.

1. Ice or heat? For acute back and neck pain, use ice. Ice will help to reduce pain, swelling, and spasm. Using heat for acute pain is like “throwing gas on the fire.” Ice is the best choice for the acute onset of back pain. The use of heat is beneficial for arthritis and stiffness.

2. Medication: You are not experiencing back or neck pain because of a drug deficiency. Anti-inflammatory medications may help to relieve pain and swelling, but these medications are only treating the symptoms. Anti-inflammatory drugs will actually cause your body to heal more slowly because these medications affect the body’s ability to repair.

3. Exercise: Beginning an aggressive exercise or physical therapy program shortly after you hurt your back may not be your wisest choice for care. If you break a leg, your doctor is not going to advise you to start a running and jumping program. With an acute spinal injury, the best initial advice is to rest it, ice it, and leave it alone.

4. Your chair and bed are not your friend. Although a few days of rest may be beneficial, spinal injuries are not helped by prolonged rest. As everyone knows, heart surgeons advise their patients to get moving as soon as possible. The safest exercises for acute back pain are the following: walking, gentle stretches, swimming, and frequent changes in positions.

5. Epidural Steroids Injections: Cortisone shots given by “pain management” doctors seldom work on a long term basis. There are serious side effects associated with these injections including paralysis, infection, and death. Epidural steroids should only be considered after conservative management has failed.

6. Just hope the pain goes away. Back pain is often complicated. Chronic back pain is seldom related to a simple muscle strain. Recurring and severe back pain is usually related to spinal misalignment, osteoarthritis, disc degeneration, disc bulges, stenosis, and pinched spinal nerves. A chiropractor that utilizes imaging studies can quickly diagnose the cause of pain and set up an appropriate treatment regimen to resolve the condition.

My advice: If you are experiencing acute back or neck pain, do the most conservative treatment first—chiropractic care. Back and neck pain is usually related to structural and biomechanical problems of the spine. Misalignment of the spine affects the nerves and muscles of the back and neck. With the correction of the structural misalignment of the spine, back and neck pain can often be resolved without drugs, shots, and surgery.

Dr. Craig Brue is an author, lecturer and chiropractic physician in SaddleBrooke, Ariz. For more information on chiropractic care, go to bruechiropractic.com.