Soft tissue ailments such as muscle aches and tendon sprains are very common, particularly with people who do repetitive tasks such as typing or some forms of sports. Without proper care, there is the potential for such ailments to become worse, and eventually lead to more severe damage to one’s tissues. A very good example of this is carpal tunnel syndrome, which involves placement of excessive pressure on the median nerve due to expansion of tissues in the carpal tunnel in the wrist, or contraction of tissue due to scar formation. The common pathway for both of these mechanisms is that the nerve within the wrist is compressed due to not having enough space.
How does active release treatment work?
This form of treatment involves having the therapist using their hands to evaluate the mobility and tightness of tissues. In the case of carpal tunnel syndrome due to the presence of scar tissue in the wrist, they will lightly massage the area, trying to find out exactly where and how tight the band is. Once this is established, they will then use manual pressure or a specialized form of massage to try and break up the scar tissue. This is a highly technical procedure, which involves understanding the flow of blood and lymph within that part of the body. This is because in order for the therapy to be effective, the pressure applied has to be in the direction of flow of venous blood and lymph.
There are various ways in which the movement of tissues can be achieved. The most common is to have the therapist do the massage so that the tissues compressing the contents of the carpal tunnel are softened and released. In more advanced forms of the therapy, the patient may also be required to move their hands or other body parts in order to augment the effects that the practitioner has. This has the effect of increasing the intensity of therapy.
Are there contraindications to the therapy?
One of the good things about this form of therapy and others that are related to it is that there are very few contraindications, and anyone can make use of them without fear of adverse side effects. The only circumstances in which one may be advised not to use active release therapy is when there is trauma to the area. In such cases, there is a risk that bone and other tissues will have been disrupted, which in turn means that any massage may end up tearing the tissues apart and causing further damage. In the worst case scenario, the nerve and the blood vessels may be torn from their location, making it difficult to control bleeding and restoring sensation and function of the hand.
The other instance when it might not be a good idea to do this is when there is active inflammation in the region. Some of the signs of inflammation include redness, swelling, intense pain and loss of function of the hand.
The need for certification
It might seem simple to do active release therapy, but the truth of the matter is that it requires a bit of experience and skill. There are training courses that have been designed to equip people with the knowledge on how to carry out such treatments. If you are interested in getting this form of therapy, it would be wise for you to find a party that has received formal training in it. This way, you will not only be assured that your carpal tunnel syndrome will be properly treated, but that you will end up getting the beneficial effects much faster as well.