Arm and hand pain: Self-treatment for flexors

Arm pain, Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), Hand pain, Neuromuscular therapy, Repetitive strain injury (RSI), Self-treatment tips / Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Sometimes stretching isn’t enough and you need manual treatment to relieve pain in your forearm and hand. If you have hand strength, here are a few self-treatment tips that I give patients in my Neuromuscular Therapy center near Boston. More tips will be included in the following posts. This one is for the finger and wrist flexors. To understand the muscles better, go to this post. finger-and-wrist-flexors

To self-treat: Hold your right arm across your body at waist level. Wrap the fingers of your left hand around your forearm with the thumb against the fleshy inner part of your forearm. Press down into the soft area between the two bones, squeezing against the pressure of your fingers. Press in all along that soft space from your wrist up to the bone at your elbow closest to your body (medial epicondyle) where all of the muscles attach. Feel for places that are tender or that cause other symptoms such as pain in your hand.

NMT directions: When you find a place that hurts, hold pressure there, modulating the amount of pressure so the pain is a level of 4 to 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Hold for 8-12 seconds, or until you feel a change. (Change could mean less pain or a softening of the tissue under your pressure.) If you don’t feel a change, hold pressure for up to 20 seconds. Leaving your thumb in the same place, release the pressure to allow the blood to flow in. Press again using the same technique. If three times doesn’t produce an improvement, come back to it later. If you do feel a change, go on to the next spot, continuing to feel for tenderness.

If you feel referred pain (pain other than where you are pressing) that means  you’ve found a Trigger Point. That is a very important spot to treat until the referral is gone.

forearmtxflxrknbcrpborUsing a pressure tool: (Knobble, Omni Roller Ball or small ball like golf or high-bounce rubber) This is good for people with a Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Place the tool in the palm of one hand and between your knees. Find a place that hurts when you press on it and squeeze your knees together to increase the pressure to a discomfort level of 4-7 on a scale of 1-10. Hold the pressure for 12-20 seconds as in the NMT directions above.