This is Part One of the Common Injuries Suffered by Massage Therapists!
Massage Therapy unquestionably incorporates whole-body strength and movement, but the hands and wrists are perhaps the stars of the show. So preventing injury is crucial to career longevity—your ability to do your job effectively for as long as you choose.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
CTS has become a catch-all term that is too often applied to any pain syndrome anywhere in the wrist area. Many other injuries can cause symptoms at the wrist.
CTS, however, has quite a specific definition: it is impingement of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel.
When there is ongoing pressure on the median nerve within the rigid, fixed space of the carpal tunnel, located between the carpal bones and the transverse carpal ligament of the wrist. This pressure, which can have several causes, cuts down on the volume of nerve impulses
traveling through the nerve to and from the hand. Mechanical stress on the nerve can damage the nerve tissue and can be a result of keeping the wrist in flexion for a sustained time or placing the wrist against an object like a desk for sustained periods.
Symptoms of CTS:
Pain felt in the palmar aspect of the wrist radiating into the hand, particularly the palm, the thumb, index finger, third finger, and adjoining half of the ring finger paresthesias can be experienced along the same nerve path.
CTS tends to come on slowly and can be triggered by a sudden increase in workload or decrease in the time allowed between massages.
Saddle Joint Injury
The thumb’s basal, or CMC, the joint is saddle-shaped, formed by the trapezium in the wrist and the metacarpal in the thumb.
This distinctive shape enables the thumb to rotate up, down and across the palm, and to pinch.
Saddle joint injury can present with throbbing pain or a dull ache.
Anti-inflammatory medications, both topically and orally.
Splinting may also be recommended.
These injuries are most often caused by overuse. Thus, prevention is a crucial factor in career longevity.
Proper alignment of the wrists (120 degrees)
Hands and thumbs. When possible, use forearms, and elbows
Table Height (this is why I LOVE my Hydraulic/ Electric Table)!
Warm-up before sessions
Rest between sessions
Stretch and strengthen throughout the day
Self-care (get a Massage, see a Chiropractor, Physiotherapy, Yoga).
What are your best recovery, or prevention, strategies?
Let us know in the comment section below!
Have an Awesome Day!
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