There are a number of different conditions that contribute to arm and hand pain. They include, thoracic outlet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, golfer's elbow, tennis elbow and trigger finger and they are frequently caused by tight muscles impinging nerves. What is the difference between them?

thoracic outlet syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome can cause pain, numbness and tingling in the shoulder, down the arm and in the fingers. Tight muscles in the neck and shoulder can contribute to pinched nerves in the brachial plexus and can result in those symptoms...even tingling and numbness in the fingers.

carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome can result in numbness and tingling in the forearm and hand. If the median nerve is impinged, you'll likely have numbness in your thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of your ring finger. If the ulnar nerve is impinged, you'll likely have numbness in your pinky finger and half of your ring finger.

Golfer's Elbow / Medial Epicondylitis

Golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is often caused by repetitive motion such as golfing, working as a dental hygenist, massage therapist or in an ice cream parlor scooping yummy treats! Sometimes this diagnosis is given to a tear in the common flexor tendon of the forearm; other times this diagnosis is given when the tendon is simply inflamed. I will apply my golfer's elbow massage protocol to help your body heal itself. The protocol includes massage, stretching and strengthening once the tear (if there is one) has healed.

Due to the shape of the tear in a golfer's elbow injury, the tendon is easily susceptible to re-injury. For this reason, in the case of tears, I actually recommend a follow-up massage for golfer's elbow once you think you are pain free. This follow-up massage should be before you actually resume normal activity to ensure that your tear is properly healed and the follow-up will include strengthening exercises that can help you determine if this torn muscle has healed properly and is ready for action again.

TENNIS ELBOW / LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is caused by repetitive motion such as playing tennis, working as a massage therapist or typing on the computer a lot. Sometimes this diagnosis is given to a tear in the common extensor tendon of the forearm; other times this diagnosis is given when the tendon is simply inflamed. I will use a massage protocol designed for tennis elbow to help your body heal itself. The protocol includes massage, stretching and strengthening once the tear (if there is one) has healed.

As with golfer's elbow, due to the shape of the tear in a tennis elbow injury, the muscle is easily susceptible to re-injury. For this reason, I also recommend a follow-up massage for tennis elbow once you think you are pain free. This follow-up massage should be before you resume normal activity to ensure that your tear is properly healed. The follow-up session will include strengthening exercises that can help you determine if this torn muscle has healed properly and is truly ready for action again.

trigger finger

Trigger finger is frequently the result of a muscle cramp in the forearm.

If you suffer from any of the conditions above or have other numbness, pain or tingling in the arm or hand, give me a call to schedule a massage to see if tight muscles are contributing to your problem. If you are trying to avoid surgery due to the inherent risks, because surgery is too costly or because you can not afford the down time, or if you had carpal tunnel release surgery but did not get the relief for your symptoms that you were seeking, call me to schedule a massage to see if we can help your body heal itself.

During our session, we will review your history and symptoms, evaluate tight muscles that could be impinging your nerves, massage and stretch muscles that can be directly or indirectly contributing to your symptoms. Once you're symptom free, you and I can develop a plan to minimize the chance of recurrence.