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Question: LMT's tell me please, what is a good way to avoid wrist damages

Asked by DaphneB 5 years ago

23 answers

How can i avoid damages to wrist during a massage?

Stone Massage Therapy, Swedish Massage, Chair Massage, Deep Tissue Massage

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Top Answer – As rated by the community

massagebymimi 5 years ago

You need proper body mechanics. Try to keep your wrists straight, your table at the recommended height for your height, and keep your stance correct during massage. Stretch before and after massages. If you feel pain, recognize it, acknowledge it and make sure to treat it ASAP. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation...

For me, if I feel my wrists are tired or I have been overusing them, I resort to my forearms, elbows and I have friends who are MTs who use their feet in Oriental Bar Therapy. This is when you really need to think of alternate ways of healing. If you are working for a company and you feel fatigue in your wrists, you need to speak up and tell the person who books the appointments to not put you with deep massages...that you can do Swedish for the day (or however long you feel you need to rest).

Sources: http://iwannarelax.com been practicing Massage since 1998, mom's a retired MT of 30+ years.

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

thank you..... i will keep in mind less DT Massage.... Ive noticed with DT Massage i can only do 3 people for the day.

thank you again for getting back to me

Other answers (22)

the-chattanoogan-spa 5 years ago

Definitely make sure your table is at proper height and be sure to use proper body mechanics. It is difficult to really keep your wrists straight even so. If you have any kind of a wrist injury that is causing pain while you massage, you need to rest long enough to let it heal. Otherwise stretching the muscles that are bothering you before and after may help as well. Good luck!

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

thank you...

GregJones 5 years ago

Avoid applying too much pressure while wrists are not straight. Be inventive in figuring ways to do this rather than always relying on the elbow. Using it less in the beginning will keep you from being forced to use it less. Stretching is a must both before and after and if you feel you are over using, get a different plan of attack. use Ice and rest if you go to far.

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

thank you.....

JessieThompsonLMT 5 years ago

Hi DaphneB, I make use of other tools, such as my forearms and elbows when doing really deep work,. Also, be sure to stack your joints, always stay behind your strokes and avoid over extension of the wrist joints. It is also extremely important to take the time to warm up systemically prior to any physical activity. With Massage being such a physical profession, it is of dire importance to treat your body as you would before any other such activity by slowly raising the heart rate to a working rate over a period of 10-15 minutes. This gets the circulation going, providing lots of oxygen and blood to the tissues that are going to be working hard for the rest of the day. A good warm-up can be the greatest defense in avoiding most injuries. Remember to listen to your body and watch your angles. If something hurts you probably shouldn't be doing it or aren't doing it properly. Try a different approach or correct your body mechanics and the angles your using. Finally it is really beneficial to stretch and stretch often! It feels good and it is very effective when done to warm tissue between every session you are giving this will keep your forearm muscles limber and feeling good. Oh and get massage yourself! As often as possible! Good Luck!

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

thank you.. I will be getting a massage tomorrow =) cant wait!!!!

masonhickman 5 years ago

There is some great advice here! My biggest tip would be to watch your wrists while you work and keep them as much in line with your forearms as possible. The wrists shouldn't be waving all over the place, especially not when pressure is moving through them. This is tricky because you don't want to be lock-wristed either. And always do a contrast bath after a long day of work and follow up with some biofreeze...magic! Hope this helps.

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

Thank you, it does...... I will buy some biofreeze

SethLevine 5 years ago

If you are experiencing wrist issues during and/or after giving massage there are a couple of things that you can do. First, while giving massage be very vigilant about "not" hyper-extending and/or hyper-flexing your wrist and other joints. Good technique recommends that your keep your joints relatively straight and stacked as much as possible to avoid excess stress on ligaments and tendons that could lead to tissue damage and inflammation. When you can it is often a good idea to support one hand with the other to reduce the amount of stress any one wrist is subjected to. Also make sure your body mechanics are correct and that whatever force you are creating is coming from your Hara (your core, hips call it what you want) and not from your arms, wrists or upper body musculature. This will go a long way towards helping you avoid wrist damage.
Second, if you find that you experience soreness after a massage session it can often be helpful to ice your wrists, hands and even your forearms to create some blood vessel constriction and mitigate any inflammatory response that may tend to occur. After the ice is removed the body tissues will begin to warm allowing your blood vessels to dilate and thus letting nice yummy, fresh healing blood to rush into the area and begin the healing process.
If you are doing a lot of back-to-back massage sessions, even a couple of minutes of ice in-between session can be helpful. You can also switch up your technique during the massage in order to give your wrists a break by using you forearms or doing some ROM work with your client.

I hope this is helpful...
Seth Levine LMT

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

Very Very Helpful, Im going to print this whole page.

Everyone is so Helpful =)

Thank you

SarahWilkins 5 years ago

Hi Daphne, If you're in the UK have at look at http://www.nohandsmassage.com
I now work exclusively using NO HANDS massage & can give so much more to my clients knowing that I'm not damaging myself as I work.

Highly recomend it.

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

i'll be sure to check it out

Oakynleaf 5 years ago

Balance your use of fists, thumbs, fingers, forearms, and elbows. Forty percent (average) of my business is deep tissue and trigger point work. I would be happy if it were 100%. When doing deep tissue my favored tools are forearm, fist, and elbow.

Everyone has told me many times to use "proper body mechanics"; enough so, that if I hear it again I think I will puke. I am not and never have been a "proper" person, and I hate mechanics, Now, Tai Chi, I do understand. Take a couple classes of Tai Chi and use the Tai Chi methods in practice.

Balance. Find balance in the use of your bodies "tools" and in the way you move your body and you will last a long time. Oh yeah, and laugh a lot. Humor will take you just a bit farther down the road. You can never over-use humor.

Sources: http://www.claudemassage.net

serbugabi 5 years ago

Hi Daphne, I personaly use elbows and forearms more than hands and fingers. 95% of my business is DT and I love it. Yesterday I did 10 chair massages and my arms did not feel tired. Also, try to find tools to help you in your trade. I have a small wooden massage tool with 4 balls on the ends and I use them by triggerpointing with them. You just lean into the muscle on top of one of the balls with your palm. It goes in deeper and saves your fingers. At the same time, I suggest using an Ipod while you work. Music gives me tons of energy and I feel invigorated after I work. The music I play for my clients would put me to sleep so make sure you have something upbeat to leasten to.

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

thank you... i will keep the ipod in mind

IntuitiveTouchMassage 5 years ago

Get the book, Save Your Hands by Lauriann Greene. It will give you all kinds of great advice. I like the advice by massagebymimi as well!

Sources: Save Your Hands ISBN 978-0967954905

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

andys 5 years ago

To avoid damage to the wrist during a massage, only do the massage you have been shown, the pressure is up to you not your clients, so many therapists starting out have injuries trying to give deeper pressure. Experience helps as well the more you massage your technique will change to what feels right for your body. To have a long career as a massage therapist means looking after your body, regular training, having someone give your arms a massage helps. Dont work with pain its there for a reason, stretch the muscles after your days work. sauna and steam baths help relax muscles. Follow the advice you give to clients and listen to your body. Good luck hope you have a long career and stay injury free.

Pamperday 5 years ago

Our wrist is made up of 8 small bones (carpal bones). These bones are held together by ligaments.

In addition to the many small muscles in your hand, nerves, tendons and blood vessels pass through the wrist to supply your hand.

The nerves for your arm and wrist leave your spinal cord at
your cervical spine (your neck).
Compression of the nerves any where along their course
can cause pain/tingeing/numbness/burning.

Reformednurse 5 years ago

Keep your wrist as straight as possible. Stretch before and after each massage. Do not do more work in one day than you can COMFORTABLY handle. Personally, at age 57, that has become 3 or 4; never more. If you find you need to take drugs to handle the pain, STOP! Have a physical therapist show you what you are doing wrong.

MassagebySarah 5 years ago

I agree that body mechanics are extremely important. During your massage routine on a regular basis I would recomend incorporating your forearm and elbow, unless the client does not like deep pressure. Also, I have invested in a thumb saver and I think this is a great tool that every massage therapist should have, and it's inexpensive.

Also, make sure you have a massage therapist locally that you can trade services with and have your forearms, wrists, and hands worked on a weekly basis if possible. Remember, you need to keep yourself healthy if you want to be able to help anyone else.

Sources: http://www.massagewarehouse.com for thumb savers

sport 5 years ago


JinaSmithLMT 5 years ago

Proper body machanics are a must. keeping proper alignment with wrist, elbow, shoulder and using body weight for pressure not pushing from the arms works for me. When I over do it and feel discomfort I ice and rest and make sure I am stretching before and after sessions. Hope this works for you.

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

thank you. i have good body machanics when it come to my legs. but i just feel that my wrist is always overworked. Today i worked and did 7 chair massages and full body and my arms are yelling for attention (lol)... I going to get a ice pack, im doing wrist rotations been doing it for 20mins now.

rceci 5 years ago

I always stretch before and after massage. It doesnt take much time and can be done anywhere. I also find that if i feel any kind of pain or fatigue, then i ice that night. It always helps. Mechanichs are always important and try to keep wrists straight while working. I know it can be easy to get lazy but you will pay for it. And of course i always ask a friend to work on my forearms to keep me loose. Good Luck

Answer Comments

DaphneB 5 years ago

thank you for getting back to me. Im going to use ice. I will also make sure that i keep my wrist stright.

rceci 5 years ago

I always stretch before and after massage. It doesnt take much time and can be done anywhere. I also find that if i feel any kind of pain or fatigue, then i ice that night. It always helps. Mechanichs are always important and try to keep wrists straight while working. I know it can be easy to get lazy but you will pay for it. And of course i always ask a friend to work on my forearms to keep me loose. Good Luck

TomChancyLMT-NCTM 5 years ago

When stretching doesn't quite do the trick, I recommend making sure you get a good trade massage in with another therapist that you know and/or trust to work on you. Reciprocal massage is a good thing - we spend so much time working on others that, often, we forget to take care of ourselves. Remember one of the golden rules of massage....for every hour of massage you do, an hour for yourself. And, of course, getting a good hot stone massage will melt away a lot of tension and overdoing muscles all over. At least once a month is a very, very good thing, and your body will thank you for it!


Sources: http://www.massagetherapy.com - look for the article Ten for Ten.

erivera68 5 years ago

Daphne.Try to use your whole body, keep your wrist in alignment with your hand and use forearm to massage whenever you can!

AngieCalloway 5 years ago

use forearms or fists and for deep tiisue use elbows !!!

Gudrun 5 years ago

I would use other methods, such as use of forearm and/or the use of massage tools to reduce the use of the wrists.

SilverHand 4 years ago

What is a good way to avoid wrist damages?

Your top answer states most of what you need to know. Stretching and the various other suggestions posted here are all solid applications; however they focus on preparing TO injure you and minimizing the effects. What I will add is that your wrist pain is if not from poor body mechanics, then is likely do to repetitive motions throughout giving a massage or other activities.

By their nature, repetitive actions are predictable and as such, can be prevented. I suggest finding multiple techniques that can be utilized and rotated within the same massage session. Doing this gives you more "tricks in your bag" as far as the client is concerned, but will also actively prevent injury due to repetitive motions.

There are multiple books on the market for Therapist in dealing with “saving their hands” and proper body mechanics. They offer good advice, mostly for keeping your thumbs healthy, but many of the practices can be applied to wrists and elbows.

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