Massage Technique for Carpal Tunnel and Pronator Teres Syndrome

Pronator Teres Syndrome and Massage Therapy

This article describes a little known but widespread nerve entrapment syndrome called Pronator Teres Syndrome. Persons with this affliction experience pain, numbness, and weakness of the forearm and hand. Massage Therapy is an effective treatment of Pronator Teres Syndrome.

Massage Therapy and Bodywork are very effective in treating muscular pain and related problems arising from muscular issues. For example, in my San Antonio, Texas based Massage Therapy and Bodywork practice I often treat pain from various nerve entrapment syndromes including the supposedly rare Pronator Teres Syndrome. Like many painful conditions Pronator Teres Syndrome responds quite well to massage therapy and bodywork.

What is Pronator Teres Syndrome?

Pronator Teres Syndrome is the name of a painful nerve entrapment condition, sometimes misdiagnosed as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, in which the median nerve is placed under abnormal pressure by the pronator teres muscle near the elbow. The pronator teres muscle attaches to both the humerus and ulna bones near the elbow and then diagonally across to the radius bone. When the pronator teres muscle becomes tight and enlarged, pain results from myofascial trigger points (knots) in the muscle, and pressure on the median nerve which passes through the muscle’s two heads. Pain from Pronator Teres Syndrome is usually found in the forearm and wrist as well has the palm of the hand on the thumb side. Additionally, there is very often numbness or a pins and needles feeling in palm, thumb, forefinger, and middle finger that seems very much the same pattern as seen in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Most of the time the symptoms are on one side, usually the dominant hand, but may affect both sides at the same time. Additionally, people with Pronator Teres Syndrome often have a sense of weakness in the hand and symptoms may worsen with continued use.

What is the cause of Pronator Teres Syndrome?

There are a number of causes for Pronator Teres Syndrome including direct blunt trauma to the muscle itself and elbow injuries, however this syndrome is most often caused by overuse and/or repetitive stress of the pronator teres muscle. Examples of activities contributing to this syndrome include prolonged use of screw drivers or other hand tools, overhand (topspin) motions in racquet sports such as tennis, and other activities requiring repetitive forearm turning motions.

carpal tunnel syndrome and massage therapy

Massage Therapy and Bodywork for Pronator Teres Syndrome

There are many ways that massage therapy and bodywork can be used to treat Pronator Teres Syndrome. The massage therapist will employ a number of techniques to relieve the condition. For example the massage therapist may use Neuromuscular Therapy or Trigger Point Therapy to eliminate myofascial trigger points in the pronator teres muscle. The massage therapist could also use Myofascial Release techniques or Deep Tissue Massage techniques to release adhesions between the pronator teres muscle and surrounding tissues while also using Muscle Energy Techniques to gently lengthen the pronator teres muscle. Pronator Teres Syndrome also responds well to positional release therapies such as Ortho-Bionomy which work with the body’s nervous system to release muscles and improve joint movement in the area. In addition to working on the pronator teres muscle it may be necessary to provide therapy for other muscles near pronator teres and even to muscles opposing pronator teres to improve muscular balance. Comprehensive treatment with massage and bodywork, in conjunction with a home program of stretching and exercise, usually helps to completely resolve Pronator Teres Syndrome.

Other Treatments for Pronator Teres Syndrome

While massage therapy and bodywork are an excellent treatment for Pronator Teres Syndrome there are other treatments you should discuss with your physician:

Corticosteroid Injections
Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS)
Decompressive Surgery

Other Names for Pronator Teres Syndrome

Pronator Syndrome
Pinched Nerve

The information on this page has been provided for information purposes only. It is not meant to provide a medical diagnosis, only a licensed physician may diagnose Pronator Teres Syndrome. If you feel that you have the symptoms of Pronator Teres Syndrome please see your physician for a proper diagnosis and plan of treatment which may include massage therapy and bodywork. There are a number of serious conditions that are similar Pronator Teres Syndrome that could require immediate medical attention.

If, after consulting your physician, you would like to pursue treatment of Pronator Teres Syndrome with Massage Therapy and Bodywork please contact me at my San Antonio Massage and Bodywork practice or contact a Massage Therapist near you.

Massage By Ben – San Antonio, Texas
Massage Therapy and Bodywork for pain relief and sports performance in San Antonio, Texas.

By Ben Crabtree
Published: 2/18/2008


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