Massage therapists work in a demanding profession full of opportunities to injure themselves. In this blog, we are going to highlight four common massage therapist injuries and how massage therapists can avoid them.
Tenosynovitis and Tendinitis
Tenosynovitis and Tendinitis are common injuries massage therapists can experience. These conditions involve inflammation of the tendon sheath and tendons respectively. Typically, a massage therapist’s thumb develops adhesions between the tendon and the surrounding sheath. Because massage therapists use their thumbs so much while giving massages to their clients, this injury can be detrimental to massage therapist’s careers.
To prevent or reduce Tenosynovitis and Tendinitis, massage therapists should keep their tendons flexible by stretching after each massage given, as well as giving themselves a “self-massage” to reduce adhesions that might be developing.
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a very painful syndrome that occurs at the median nerve in the space of the carpal tunnel. Carpal Tunnel can cause great pain and make it too difficult for you to perform a massage.
To prevent carpel tunnel syndrome, a massage therapist can lessen the strain of giving a massage by using the ulner side of your hand. A massage therapist can also stretch and provide themselves with a self-massage after they give a massage to their patients. It’s important to find ways to decrease the amount of compression on the median nerve, which will help prevent this disorder.
Postural Neck Strain
Even the best massage therapist body mechanics may not help you prevent neck strains while giving massages day in and day out. However, avoiding having your head in flexion is one of the best ways to prevent neck injuries while giving a massage. Often, massage therapists watch their hand movements as they provide massages. This can cause unnecessary injury to your neck area. We recommend not watching your hand strokes.
Shoulder strain is a common massage therapist injury that can occur after months and years of giving massages. Massage therapists often use their shoulders for power. Overworking your shoulders can cause pain and limit your career longevity. We recommend using your core body by placing your arms down and in front of you, causing you to use your core power through your forearms rather than only your shoulders to generate power.
Preventing Common Massage Injuries
While preventing common massage injuries is not guaranteed, following proper body mechanics can help massage therapists avoid serious injuries that shorten their career lifespan.
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