By Kylie Thompson, BS, CPT, LMT
We put our hands and forearms through an awful lot of stress every day. Squeezing, clenching, buckling, and writing. All of it. And yet, when I start to massage a hand and forearm, I often hear, “Oh! I had no idea my arms were so sore!” It’s a common surprise, but not really a surprise.
Gripping a steering wheel. Working a trackpad or mouse. Hovering over keyboards. And stoves. And laundry. You get it. They get sore. And when they get really overworked, we end up with carpal tunnel, tendonitis, trigger finger and a whole host of other issues.
The upside here: it’s pretty easy to massage your own hands and forearms. Here’s how:
Start at the top. Using the opposite hand, gently squeeze the meaty, fleshy areas just below your elbow. Squeeze on the inside of your arm then on the outside. Gently is the key here, don’t be jamming your thumb in there hard and causing pain. It should feel good, and if it doesn’t, back off a bit.
If you want to get fancy, roll the wrist around and wiggle the fingers as you squeeze. Do that light squeezing all the way down to the wrist, and do this a few times, up and down the forearm to cover all the territory there.
Then move to the hand, using a light pincer grip, squeeze that meaty area at the base of your thumb. Lightly squeeze up and down all those finger bones through the palm, and up each finger. When you find a good spot, stick around it for an extra minute.
Whatever feels good to you is just fine. Then, switch hands and do it again on the other arm! Better yet, find a friend and massage each other’s arms and hands.
If you’ve got carpal tunnel or tendonitis, or just achiness and pain that you can’t figure out, you may need even more attention to keep those issues at bay. For this, I suggest you see a massage therapist. (That’s me!) I can work on those issues, and teach you some self-care techniques to practice at home, too. Click here to schedule a massage and add a note that your hands and forearms need some love and attention.