Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by inflammation or entrapment of the median nerves within the carpal tunnel of the inside of the wrist.

It’s often associated with repetitive motions or strains over long periods, such as working at a computer or long hours on an assembly line. It’s also very common in pregnant women and those who sleep on their stomachs with their hands curled up under them.

Genetics such as hereditary small carpal tunnels and diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may also contribute to the symptoms.

  • Pain, tingling and numbness and tingling in the hand, thumb, wrist and forearm.
  • Difficulty grasping or carrying objects.
  • Interrupted sleep due to pain (which can be worse in the evening).

Fixing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome requires relieving the pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. This is often done through wrist splints or surgery, but massage is also an effective non-invasive and cost-efficient treatment for the condition.

Massage therapy addresses inflammation, pain and numbness by softening and lengthening the muscles and fascia of the neck, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. It’s best used as a complementary treatment in the early stages (when symptoms first appear).

During a massage to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a therapist uses deep tissue work to help release adhesions, trigger points, and tension in the soft tissue of the shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand. A therapist will also often work with the pectoral and subscapularis muscles to release the medial rotation of the shoulder.

Many clients experience carpal tunnel relief after the first session, however, for long term relief, it will generally take four to six sessions. This will depend on the severity and length of time of symptoms. A full recovery can often be made.

A word of caution…

It should be noted that feeling relief from your symptoms doesn’t mean that the condition has been completely cured. Be sure to continue consulting with your medical specialist.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and would like to use massage to help alleviate symptoms, you’re in the right place! You can make a booking with one of our therapists here. We’ve got clinics in Mount Hawthorn and Cannington.


Do you have any of the symptoms? Book an appointment with Fitlife Sports Massage.


runner's knee

Runner’s knee, or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, is the name given to a specific set of conditions that involve overuse or injury of the muscles in the kneecap and thigh. Running can place immense stress on the tendons, bone, and muscle in the knees and thighs, giving rise to the condition called Runner’s Knee.

While running, quads and hamstrings pull on tendons that attach to the knee cap. If any or all of the surrounding muscles are too tight this can pull the patella (kneecap) out of its normal tracking position, which in turn can create inflammation and pain. This condition is often a result of poor technique or a compensatory pattern for issues occurring in the hip or at the foot.

Not a Runner but Still Experiencing Knee Pain?

You may still have Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. This is an incredibly common (and often annoying or recurring) condition. Anyone returning to or starting an exercise program or even someone engaging in a one-off activity that their body isn’t conditioned to can experience these symptoms.

  • Pain in the kneecap area
  • Pain when moving the knee
  • Increasing pain when walking downstairs or down a hill
  • Swelling
  • Popping.
  • Lack of rest
  • Injury
  • Fallen arches or flat feet
  • Improper shoes
  • Running downhill
  • Inadequate rest and recovery
  • Over pronation or supination of the feet
  • Poor running technique
  • Not engaging gluteus muscles during everyday activity.

Massage works in a similar way to stretching in that it loosens the muscles – but massage offers the benefit of being able to pull the muscles and tendons into better alignment.

  • Active/positional release 
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Deep tissue Massage
  • Dry Needling
  • Kinesiology Taping
  • Myofascial or Functional release Cupping

In many cases, a couple of standard massages will be enough to reduce the short-term symptoms. They will reduce muscle tension and promote better movement.

If, however, the symptoms have been around for a little longer then you will need to have more detailed treatments that focus on relieving issues both higher and lower at the hips and feet. Typically, at Fitlife we would use a combination of the following:

  • Body assessment – both static and functional (moving)
  • Trigger point release/dry needling
  • Deep tissue massage/ myofascial cupping
  • Myofascial release (a little gentler than deep tissue massage!)
  • Mobilisation
  • Kinesiology taping and finally
  • Some strengthening and activation programs or referral to an exercise specialist.

Do you have any of the symptoms? Book an appointment with Fitlife Sports Massage.



Whiplash occurs when a person’s head moves backwards and then forward suddenly with great force. This injury is most common following a rear-end auto collision. It can also result from sports injuries.

Whiplash happens when the soft tissues (the muscles and ligaments) of your neck extend beyond their typical range of motion. Your symptoms might not appear for a while, so it’s important to pay attention to any physical changes for a few days following any crash or other injury event.

Whiplash is thought of as a relatively mild condition, but it can cause long-term pain and discomfort.

  • Symptoms usually appear within 24 hours after the incident that caused the whiplash. Sometimes, symptoms may develop after a few days. They can last for several weeks.

    Symptoms can include:


Less common symptoms associated with chronic whiplash include:

After seeing a doctor to rule out any serious injury our team can with relaxing the affected muscles to help relieve the pain and discomfort of whiplash. The sooner massage therapy is received the quicker a patient will heal and are less likely to develop chronic neck pain. We use the following techniques to help with whiplash:

Myofascial Release – Myofascial release techniques can free restricted neck muscle and fascia to help restore fluidity, thus relieving the stiffness of whiplash. Additionally, myofascial unwinding can unlock dysfunctional fascial holding patterns established at the time of injury.

Static Compression – Applying static compression to affected trigger points creates an influx of oxygen that relaxes the contracted musculature. Since myofascial trigger points often develop in the cervical muscles following a whiplash injury, this treatment prevents prolonged muscular dysfunction that can linger for months or years after the initial trauma.

Deep Tissue Massage – Once the superficial muscles are relaxed, deep tissue work can liberate contracted deep fascia, adhesions and scar tissue. Making sure to stay within the client’s pain tolerance level, deep tissue massage can free tissue that had tightened around local nerves.

Do you have any of the symptoms? Book an appointment with Fitlife Sports Massage.


frozen shoulder

This results in a reduced range of shoulder movement.

It occurs in about 2 to 5 per cent of the population and commonly presents in 40 to 60-year-olds. It is more prevalent in women (70 per cent) over the age of 50 who are largely inactive.

Your shoulder capsule is the deepest layer of soft tissue around your shoulder joint and plays a major role in keeping your humerus (upper arm bone) within the shoulder socket.

While frozen shoulder is commonly missed or confused with a rotator cuff injury, it has a distinct pattern of symptoms resulting in potentially severe shoulder pain, loss of shoulder function and eventually stiffness. In our experience, pain is not always present, but severe restriction of range of movement is a significant problem.

Common issues include:

  • The inability to reach above shoulder height
  • The inability to throw a ball
  • The inability to quickly reach for something
  • The inability to reach behind your back
  • The inability to reach out to your side and behind. e.g., reach for seat belt
  • The inability to sleep on your side.

There is still much unknown about frozen shoulder, including what causes the condition. There are many theories however there has been no consensus reached by the medical community.

Health conditions such as diabetes, cardiac disease, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism conditions do increase the prevalence of frozen shoulder. For example, the incidence of frozen shoulder in diabetics can be 10 to 38%. Researchers are unsure why the risk is increased in these patient groups – but coincidentally, diabetes is often a condition caused by inactivity and poor diet.

A sufferer of frozen shoulder will find themselves progressing through three stages: freezing, thefrozen stage and thawing. The progression of these stages can last for as long as two years.

At each stage the following might help:

Muscle release and shoulder mobilisation through the entire shoulder complex.

Specific shoulder joint mobilisation and stretches, muscle release techniques, acupuncture, dry needling and exercises to regain range and strength.

Strength training exercises to take you forward as your symptoms reduce.

Remedial massage can be helpful in alleviating pain and increasing mobility across all three stages, hastening recovery and enabling a return to normal function of the shoulder. But please be aware that while there are three stages to recovery, it’s still a process which will take place over time and it can’t be simply fixed in just three easy steps.

Do you have any of the symptoms? Book an appointment with Fitlife Sports Massage.


rotaTOr cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of your upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder.

A rotator cuff injury can cause a dull ache either in the front or back of the shoulder, which often worsens when you try to sleep on the involved side or try to use it under load.

Rotator cuff injuries occur most often in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their jobs or sports. Examples include painters, carpenters, and people who play baseball or tennis. However, it’s also very common for people who are inactive to obtain a rotator cuff injury through reaching for things at an unusual angle, such as reaching into the back seat of a car for a bag.

The risk of rotator cuff injury also increases with age. Injuries can also occur due to your sleep position – again, particularly as we age.

Many people recover from rotator cuff injury with physical therapy exercises that improve flexibility and strength of the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.

The Pain Associated with a Rotator Cuff Injury May:

  • Be described as a dull ache deep in the shoulder (with or without movement) – or a sharp pain with movement.
  • Cause disturbed sleep, particularly if you lie on the affected shoulder.
  • Make it difficult to comb your hair or reach behind your back.
  • Be accompanied by arm weakness.

If you are at risk of rotator cuff injuries or if you’ve had a rotator cuff injury in the past, daily shoulder stretches and strengthening exercises can help prevent future injury.

Most people exercise the front muscles of the chest, shoulder and upper arm, but it is equally important to strengthen the muscles in the back of the shoulder and around the shoulder blade to optimise shoulder muscle balance. One of our specialised remedial massage therapists can create a treatment program for you.

Targeted massage and mobilisation helps in increasing blood flow along with preventing scar tissue formation. This in turn promotes healing and re-establishes the normal function of rotator cuff.

During the initial stage of a rotator cuff injury, remedial massage is at its most effective along with treatment for inflammation as prescribed by a GP or rehabilitation physiotherapist.

Do you have any of the symptoms? Book an appointment with Fitlife Sports Massage.



Upper crossed body syndrome is becoming increasingly more common, especially in office-based workers. Many of us are aware that sitting at our desks for long periods has a detrimental effect on our bodies, we often try to compensate for this by participating in a sport or some kind of physical activity. However, depending on which sport you chose to participate in you could be adding to the problem.

Upper crossed body syndrome is observed in people who suffer from rounded shoulders. This is commonly seen in office-based workers hunched over their keyboard with their chin pushed forward. The picture below demonstrates where the name upper crossed body syndrome is derived from, it is a combination of tight and weak opposing muscles. Pain is often felt in the upper back and neck area along with the feeling of not being able to hold your posture well.

Having a tight upper trapezius results in the shoulders being elevated and closer to your ear. Tight pectorals cause your shoulders to be pulled forward and result in the hunched over position. Having weak cervical flexors and rhomboids means the body is not capable of holding itself in place, therefore it is necessary to include strengthening work as well as loosening of the pectoral, upper trapezius and levator scap muscles.

Upper crossed body syndrome can also be more prevalent in certain sports such as cycling and rowing. The mechanical demands on the body naturally encourages tightness and weakness in the muscles associated with upper crossed body syndrome, therefore it is important to maintain your body well and understand this injury is not only found in the sedentary population.

People with upper crossed body syndrome display stooped, rounded shoulders and a bent-forward neck. The deformed muscles put a strain on the surrounding joints, bones, muscles and tendons. This causes most people to experience symptoms such as:

  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Weakness in the front of the neck
  • Strain in the back of the neck
  • Pain in the upper back and shoulders
  • Tightness and pain in the chest
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue
  • Lower back pain
  • Trouble with sitting to read or watch tv
  • Trouble driving for long periods
  • Restricted movement in the neck and shoulders
  • Pain and reduced movement in the ribs
  • Pain, numbness, and tingling in the upper arms.

There are many methods to treat upper crossed body syndrome but all methods have the same end goal, to loosen and relax the tight muscles and to strengthen the weak muscles.

We will put a whole program together for patients which could include massage therapy, dry needling, stretches and strengthening exercises.

Tip: most people find relief after loosening of their pectorals as their shoulders will sit back in their natural position, massage is the best way to do this. However, this pec stretch is also a great tool to use. Give it a go and see if it helps you!

The placement of your hands on the bar or stick will vary depending on your individual flexibility, you can determine the best position for yourself by trying a closer or wider grip. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and do it 3 times. You can do this once or twice daily.


Do you have any of the symptoms? Book an appointment with Fitlife Sports Massage.



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