Carpal Tunnel

“Rolfing systematically works with the connective tissues surrounding muscles, relieves stresses, increases muscle function and efficiency, and helps change harmful patterns of body use that contribute to physical discomfort.”
Siana Goodwin, Certified Advanced Rolfer, Wellness Program at Starkey Labs

Leon Fleisher, virtuoso concert pianist, attributes his Carnegie Hall comeback to Rolfing. Fleisher, who had lost the use of his right hand 30 years ago from a carpal tunnel injury, is finally recovering with Rolfing treatments and is touring world-wide. Fleisher says, “…two years ago I began playing some two-handed repertory again because of a deep-muscle massage therapy I’ve been using called Rolfing. It has loosened up muscles in my right hand that were as petrified as rock.”

Rolfing is an effective early intervention technique

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other forms of repetitive motion strains can lead to crippling injuries. These can be prevented if treated when early symptoms appear (such as pain in the arms, tingling or numbness in the hands, or chronic muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders).

Injuries caused by tension and restricted circulation

Sarah Gengler, 1988 Olympic rower, says, “Rolfing is very helpful at preventing rowing injuries due to repetitive motion. It returns balance to the body.”

Repetitive motion injuries generally involve damage to nerves, and sometimes tendons, caused by irritation, compression, and restricted blood flow. Carpal tunnel syndrome involves tension and irritation in the wrist area, often caused by repetitive motion or an inappropriate position of the hands when typing on a computer. using a mouse, operating equipment, playing instruments, etc.

Rolfing relieves muscle stress and improves circulation

Rolfing frees chronic strain in the body’s connective tissues and re-educates the coordination of muscle groups so that they function more efficiently. Rolfing treatments ease the conditions of repetitive stress and help maintain circulation, thus preventing the painful symptoms of repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Rolfing reduces worker’s compensation costs

Chart showing repetitive motion injuries and costs reducing while employees Rolfed increasing

Leading companies are turning to Rolfing to help reduce the incidence of repetitive motion injuries in the workplace. In doing so, they are realizing significant savings. For example, Starkey Labs in Minnesota (a world leader in manufacturing hearing aids) has saved over one million dollars in worker’s compensation costs and significantly lowered insurance premiums by providing Rolfing treatments to workers.

Larry Miller, Vice President of Human Resources at Starkey Labs, said costs were “going through the roof” before the Rolfing program began in 1992. Miller estimates that companies using this program could see net savings of $2-3K/employee annually. This represents cost savings in the areas of workers compensation, turnover, unemployment costs, health insurance, training, absenteeism/tardiness, and productivity. (see Case Study for more information)

US Dept. of Labor reports:

  1. In 1993, average days lost from work per year was:
    – from RSI, 20 days
    – from all other injuries and illnesses, 6 days
  2. Days away from work due to Carpal tunnel injuries averaged 30 days per year, compared to fractures at 20 days.
  3. In 1993, annual cost for worker compensation for RSI was $2.1 billion USD.