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Repetitive Strain Injuries

January 20, 2018

Repetitive Strain Injuries have become common place in our modern society. What is a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)? RSI is a general term to describe pain and dysfunction in nerves, muscles and tendons caused by overuse or repetitive motion. Common RSIs include:  tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome and many others. 

Scientists believe that it is often small damage (micro-injury) that occurs over and over again, leading to cumulative trauma. RSIs are frequently seen in situations where a motion is repeated often; such as in certain jobs, or recreational activities. For this reason, you will notice that some RSIs are named after sports or occupations. Vibrating equipment and cold environments contribute to the damage that leads to RSIs. Stress is also thought to be a complicating factor.

Common symptoms are:  aching or throbbing pain, tenderness, numbness or tingling (or even itching), weakness, cramping and stiffness.  The symptoms often come on gradually, and worsen over time.  The pain may, initially, only appear with movement of the area.  In later stages, the pain may appear for longer periods of time, or may even become constant. 

Treatment is usually focussed on correcting the situation that led to the problem.  For example, carpal tunnel syndrome is often associated with improper hand position while typing on a computer.  Correcting this may help.  However, it is not uncommon to need treatment to help the area heal.  Treatments have included medications (such as anti-inflammatory drugs), injections, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic treatments, biofeedback, therapeutic massage, acupuncture and even surgery.

How can Therapeutic Massage Help?

Therapeutic Massage is used to help relax tight, restrictive muscles while breaking down scar tissue in injured muscles. It can reduce adhesions on tendons, and muscles.  Massage also increases overall blood flow and nutrient delivery to the associated tissues leading to healing and recovery.  

Therapeutic Massage works well when applied in association with changes in the situation that led to the original injury, and with other therapeutic modalities.

How can Acupuncture Help?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes Acupuncture as a useful treatment for RSIs.  Acupuncture sends signals to our brain, which then directs the body to heal itself. Often Electro Acupuncture, where a mild electric current is delivered through the acupuncture needles, provides more dramatic results.  As he is a Medical Doctor, Dr. Fraley can also use a technique known as Ultra Low Dose Steroid Injections to help more resistant cases.

Contact us, if you have questions about RSIs and how we can help!