Last week on this anatomy and physiology course blog we looked at carpel tunnel syndrome. andtoday we are considering Repetitive Strain Injuries which covers a number of pathologies including Trigger Finger, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendonitis. It has been found that a combined treatment programme including, stretching soft-tissue therapy such as sports massage and a rehabilative exercise program can be very effective.
The role of the complementary therapist with good anatomy and physiology knowledge could replace the need for surgery other invasive procedures and cortisone injections for the majority of cases, which must lead to huge cost savings for our National Health Service.
Treatments that can work synergistically together include;
Resting the Affected Area which will immediately encourage the swelling to reduce
It is recommended to have the flexor muscles of the hand for example massaged and stretched-out, but because muscles work in pairs (the agonist and the antagonist) unless massage is followed immediately with strengthening exercises for the extensor muscles that extend the fingers, elbow and wrist, and the abductor muscles of the fingers, the massage will not have the desired effect in correcting the muscle imbalance that causes these repetitive strain injuries.
Massaging and stretching the stronger, shorter and tighter flexor muscles relieve the symptoms but not permanently. What also needs to happen is that the the longer and weaker extensor muscles need to be shortened and strengthened through extension exercises. over time thse stengthened muscles will hold the stretching and the flexor muscles in their rightful position and allow normal actions to resume without pain or discomfort
RSI is caused by the same movement done over and over again. Not surprisingly typing with the hand and wrist in the same position all day long, day in, day out is not a natural activity for the human body. Cutting hair is also a potential cause. anything that is done repeatedly in the same position, eg palying golf, palying the piano, working on a check out in a supermarket and swiping the groceries through the scanner sitting in the same position. Some super markets swap their staff each day so they face the left one day and right the next. This is good occupational practice which will save the employer days of sickness and maintain the staff health.
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