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Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)

Do you know anyone with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist/arm pain)? How about Cervicocranial Syndrome (worsening headaches over time), Tennis or Golfer's Elbow, some forms of Sciatica (low back pain going into the back of the leg), and Lumbago (gradually worsening low back pain)? All of them hurt and yet none of them have a specific instance when an accident occurred. These conditions are caused by micro trauma to the area of pain. This means that a little overuse or exercise happens and this causes a little damage. The next day or two the same thing happens again. The area keeps getting worse until the pain is more than aspirin or Tylenol can relieve.

In reality your body operates at the level less than your muscles are capable of working. This allows a safety margin in case you have to do a little more once in a while. Exercise usually is done gradually with enough time between sessions to heal from whatever damage is done by overuse of your muscles. The pain associated with exercise is a form of RSI but causes most people to back off slightly in order to have healing take place. This in one reason it is recommended to exercise every other day instead of every day. However, if you exceed that limit by just a little bit on a relatively frequent basis the minor damage can get worse faster than your body can heal. This is when this micro trauma adds up and the RSI occurs.

Although RSI starts gradually it is difficult to get rid of it. Part of the body's response to the ongoing micro trauma is to cause the surrounding muscles to tighten up to help protect the damaged area from further stress. If this continues these muscles begin to develop tiny muscle spasms or trigger points about the size of small ball bearings which actually become the source of the pain from the RSI. The feeling is not the same as a full blown cramp you might feel in the leg. It is a gradually increasing deep tight feeling or aching pain which gets worse when you use the body part or if you apply pressure to where the deep ache is located.

Rest alone or combined with pain pills or muscle relaxants do not work. For a muscle relaxant to work it would have to be strong enough to stop your heart muscle from contracting. Sometime, if they are severe enough it can cause disability. Fibromyalgia is the severe development of these RSI conditions.

Like fibromyalgia, the treatment for RSI can't be explained simply by showing a picture and describing how to to TP therapy in a specific region since RSI can occur anywhere in the body. Please refer back to the first instructions on how to treat TPs for an explanation.

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