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Posted by Tracy Howard, Feb 28 2013 9:14PM

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fingers keep locking

I've recently increased my client base & am finding that my fingers keep locking up when I'm massaging & are painful when I flex & extend. Could this be due to poor technique or something else?
Many thanks
Tracy
Angelina Kelly
Mar 1 2013 9:45AM
Hi Tracy,

It could be poor technique, it could be an old injury that has been re-activated due to recent increased use, it could be that you are doing something else with your hands that is causing the problem however it could be that there is something else going on.

Is there any chance that you feel you are not able to cope with the increased workload? Could it be that other demands are being placed upon you right now which is making you question what you are doing?

You don't have to answer me but you do have to answer yourself.

Hope this helps.

Angelina Kelly
Janice Hamilton
Mar 1 2013 9:53AM
Dear Tracy

I had this problem not long after I started working with massage and I did the following - if you go online there are some excellent warm up and warm down hand and forearm exercises for massage therapists which I do before and after every massage - I also invested in further training as I found the basic Swedish Massage techniques rely heavily on the thumbs for any deep work - I now do massage with knuckles and also elbows and it makes a huge difference to my practice and if you can use both of these for even part of your treatment you are still saving your thumbs and fingers wear and tear - your hands are your tools and like anything else you need to exercise and look after them - so even when you don't have treatments do your stretches and exercises and go for regular massage yourself and include the hands and arms in a treatment - I find I can now easily do double the work I was first doing without any major aches and pains and if I have had a particularly heavy massage week I go for an extra treatment myself. Good luck and I hope this helps.

Regards
Janice
Amanda Clegg
Mar 1 2013 10:19AM
Not sure about the fingers locking - I occasionally get a finger-twitch when I'm using my elbow for TP-releases but put that down to the 'funny bone syndrome'. However, totally agree with Janice about Swedish as it used to be taught relying too much on thumbs - I trained nearly 11 years ago, and now have quite bad arthritis in thenar joints - although one is worse which IS an old injury site from my teens. So, knuckles and elbows and tools like stones and balls, to save your thumbs!
Mike Colquhoun
Mar 1 2013 11:35AM
Hi Tracey
In studies in America and Britain it has been found that 80% of massage therapists develop these problems, carpel tunnel and repetitive strain injury. What an indictment of our industries teaching standards.
To avoid such problems learn to dance through your massage with all movement coming from the floor. The fencers’ pose is a good starting point with one leg forward and knee bent the back leg knee straight then sway by straightening the front knee. Learn to use knuckles and elbows for heavier movements.
Gerry Pives runs courses on ‘No hands Massage’ which are excellent.
Visit an Osteopath or Chiropractor to release the muscles that have become caught into their joints.
Visit my web site for some explanations www.muskelym.co.uk
Hope all this helps a bit yours aye Mike
Tracy Howard
Mar 1 2013 11:52AM
Thanks everyone. Some good advice there. Funnily enough its my middle finger right hand that is most painful & both middle & index fingers that keep locking.
I do have additional pressures but the massage is a release so I'm thrilled my client base is slowly increasing. I'll take a look at some alternative techniques.
Many thanks again
Tracy

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