Which hand massager for carpal tunnel is best?

Massage therapy is an effective treatment to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Unfortunately, it can be costly and difficult to find the time to schedule a regular massage treatment with a therapist. Fortunately, there are a number of electric hand massagers that can be purchased to relieve carpal tunnel pain by yourself. An electric massager for carpal tunnel syndrome can be used at home, in the office or when traveling. The top choice for a cordless, electric hand massager that can be used on the go, is the Comfier Wireless Hand Massager with Heat. However, there are a variety of other hand massagers ideal for carpal tunnel syndrome that should be considered for their price point and effectiveness for carpal tunnel pain relief. 

What to know before you buy a hand massager for carpal tunnel

What is carpal tunnel syndrome 

According to MedlinePlus, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome typically begin gradually, then intensify over time. The primary symptom associated with carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness and tingling in the fingers or hands. Usually the thumb and index fingers will be affected, although the middle and ring fingers may also begin to have tingling sensations over time. It should be noted that the pinky finger will not be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome pain. The numbness and tingling may feel like an electric shock and that sensation might travel from the wrist up the arm. The position that the wrist is held in will either relieve or create carpal tunnel syndrome pain. This is due to the pressure that is placed on the median nerve that passes through the carpal bones when the wrist is flexed.

The carpal tunnel located in the wrist is a narrow passageway that is surrounded by bones and ligaments. The anatomy of the wrist is responsible for the high susceptibility to nerve pain with repetitive hand motions that require wrist flexion. Over time, compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel will lead to the hands feeling numb and becoming weak. 

Benefits of massage for carpal tunnel syndrome 

Massage therapy can be used to prevent and relieve carpal tunnel related symptoms. Specifically, massage therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation, pain and the numbness and tingling sensations. A massage therapist will lengthen the muscles and fascia in the neck, shoulders, arm, wrist and hands in a session focused on carpal tunnel syndrome. A therapist may also use trigger point work to reduce tension in the soft tissues of the shoulder and arm, as well as stressing the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints in increased mobility. 

A hand massager is a great option for anyone who does not have the time or budget to work with a massage therapist to alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome pain. Unfortunately, a hand massager will only work into the hand and wrist muscles, rather than addressing the entire neck, shoulder and upper arm tissues which are involved in carpal tunnel syndrome pain. Despite hand massagers’ limited focus on the wrist joint, many find them beneficial for reducing carpal tunnel associated symptoms such as: inflammation, weakness, numbness and tingling.  

Safety considerations 

When used as directed, a hand massager is a safe and effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. However, there are a few safety considerations to keep in mind when operating a hand massager for carpal tunnel syndrome pain. 

Hand massagers can cause an electric shock

Any massage device that uses electricity can cause electric shock. Always inspect wires for small tears or exposed components before use or when purchasing second-hand. Never use an electric hand massager with wet hands or skin, for example, immediately after bathing. 

Hand massagers might not work for specific issues

Consult with a medical professional before investing in a hand massager for carpal tunnel syndrome. Only a professional can confirm that pain is related to carpal tunnel syndrome as opposed to something else. Not all chronic wrist pain can be effectively relieved with a hand massage, especially if the pain is caused by another condition other than carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Using a hand massager during pregnancy

Carpal tunnel syndrome is common during pregnancy, leading pregnant women searching for natural remedies. Massage and electric hand massagers are generally safe, though a pregnant woman should consult their doctor before receiving a massage. Unless a doctor confirms it is okay, reflexology pressure points should be avoided. Specific to hand massagers for carpal tunnel syndrome, the reflexology pressure points in the wrist and in between the fingers should be avoided until cleared by a doctor. 

What to look for in a quality hand massager for carpal tunnel 

Heat therapy 

Research confirms that a low-level heat wrap is an effective treatment for conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome that cause wrist pain. This makes heat therapy a great addition to hand massagers for carpal tunnel syndrome. Unlike cold compresses such as ice, which promotes healing of damaged tissues, heat addresses inflammation and relaxes the blood vessels, which increases circulation. 

Compression types 

The level of compression and the mechanics that create the compression vary by hand massager manufacturer. Some find very strong compressions beneficial to manage their carpal tunnel syndrome pain. Others find firm compressions to be uncomfortable and aggravate their associated carpal tunnel pain. Anyone who is unsure about the type of compression that works best for their carpal tunnel treatment should look for a massager that offers a variety of compression levels. Alternatively, they can purchase a hand massager with a generous exchange policy in case they discover that they need a stronger or lighter compression level.

Ease of use 

There are a variety of factors that make hand massages for carpal tunnel syndrome easier to use than others. However, portability is at the top of the list when it comes to a hand massager that is easy to use. Carpal tunnel pain can be debilitating, especially when it sneaks up at work or while traveling. A portable hand massager can be charged by an electoral source then used later without needing to be tethered to the wall by a cord. This allows the user to store their massager in a bag and pull it out later if needed on the go. 

How much you can expect to spend on a hand massager for carpal tunnel

The price range for a hand massager for carpal tunnel is $60-$200 depending on the massaging mechanisms. 

Hand massager for carpal tunnel FAQ

What is the difference between thoracic outlet syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome? 

A. Carpal tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome can be easily confused because they both cause similar symptoms. Carpal tunnel is identified by the compression of the median nerve, while thoracic outlet involves the compression of the neurovascular bundle. While both syndromes cause numbness and tingling, only thoracic outlet syndrome causes the hands to become cold due to lack of circulation. 

How should a hand massager be cared for? 

A. Store hand massages in a cool, dry place that is out of reach of children. To disinfect a hand massager, wipe clean with a solution that is free of harsh chemicals such as alcohol or bleach. Make sure the hand massager is completely dry before use after cleaning to avoid electrical shocks. 

What’s the best hand massager for carpal tunnel to buy?

Top hand massager for carpal tunnel

Comfier Wireless Hand Massager with Heat

Comfier Wireless Hand Massager With Heat

What you need to know: A cordless massager to soothe the hands, it has three pressure modes that rhythmically apply pressure and heat to manage carpal tunnel pain. 

What you’ll love: It features a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery with a USB cord, which makes the hand massage machine lightweight and portable 

What you should consider: It is a smaller hand massager than others on the market. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top hand massager for carpal tunnel for the money

Lunix LX3 Cordless Electric Hand Massager with Compression

Lunix LX3 Cordless Electric Hand Massager With Compression

What you need to know: A cordless and adjustable hand massager, it has six levels of massages that combine heat and compression to relieve pain and relax hands. 

What you’ll love: This hand massager is made in the U.S. by a family-owned business based in California.

What you should consider: It can take up to eight hours to fully charge.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

LifePro Hand Massager Machine with Heat

LifePro Hand Massager Machine With Heat

What you need to know: An acupressure hand massager with five modes and intensity levels, it improves blood flow and reduces inflammation in the hands.

What you’ll love: This hand massager comes with a lifetime warranty and live customer support.

What you should consider: Some found the LED control panel hard to read. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Elizabeth Foley writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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