Nourish - Repetitive Strain Injury |Natural Treatment | Part 2
Welcome back to this three-part blog on Repetitive Strain Injury, causes, symptoms and natural treatment.
Check out part one here where we covered what exactly is repetitive strain injury, what causes it and what the symptoms are.
Here in part 2, we’ll cover some natural treatment ideas and stretch techniques to ease the symptoms.
In Part 3 we shall cover herbs and products to help naturally treat RSI and reduce the symptoms which you can read about here.
How to Treat Repetitive Strain Injury Symptoms?
Some things you can do yourself if you are experiencing the beginning symptoms of RSI include:
Examining Your Everyday Tasks
This will help to determine which is most likely to be causing your symptoms. If you have developed RSI as a result of your workplace then look for ways to solve this. Your workplace can hire ergonomic consultants to analyse the desk layouts or work tools etc to support the workers better.
Taking a Break
Utilize the micropause. This is a pause of around twenty seconds, which specifically serves to break the continuation of muscle strain. During this time you can stretch your muscles and bring back blood circulation.
During these pauses, try to stretch your hands, arms, shoulders and neck a few times a day. That way the repetition cycle is broken and the blood circulation will return.
Tense muscles have very low blood circulation, so they are not provided with enough oxygen and nutrients. Equally, waste is not removed. This tends to result in tired muscles, cramps, cold hands and even pain. That’s why it’s so important to take a short pause, or a micropause, and to do so regularly.
Furthermore, if you’re staring at a phone or computer screen for hours, whether at work or play, this can lead additionally to other problems such as eye strain.
If this is a problem for you, check out my previous blog post here to help:
There are a plethora of different stretches you can do to help RSI. I encourage you to speak to a physiotherapist or chiropractor if the problem is very bad, otherwise, a quick look on Youtube will show you an abundance of techniques.
Here are a few to get you started..
- Stretch your arms out straight in front of you with palms facing up. Take one hand and gently pull on the other hand’s fingers to draw the fingers down towards your body. Then repeat for the other hand.
- Follow this by facing your palms down and bringing the fingers towards you, as if you were pushing against a wall. (That’s another option, to actually do this against a wall).
- Additionally, try facing your palms down and drawing the fingers down towards your body. A little like the Micheal Jackson Thriller dance! Go for the Zombie look 😉
- You can also do this by clenching your fists and drawing circles with them or turning them to face down or to the sides.
- Interlacing your fingers and bringing your arms up above your head and then back behind your neck is another good stretch. Widen your elbows to open up the shoulder blades.
Hold all stretch exercises for 5-15 seconds, and repeat them several times. Make sure to always repeat the exercises for both arms/sides of the body.
Have a read over my 10 Easy and Effective Office-Friendly Yoga Poses to Give Aches and Pains the Slip blog post for more tips on how to stretch at the office or on a chair.
Making Sure You’re Using Good Posture
Hunching over a desk or slouching is a sure-fire way to cause physical stress in the body. If you are unable to have a consult with somebody trained in ergonomics for the workplace, I highly encourage you to research for yourself. There’s lots of information out there for proper seating positions, appropriate heights for your computer or work desk or information on more ergonomic tools and how to hold them properly.
The same goes for a variety of jobs. If you’re somebody that spends a lot of time driving, proper headrest support placement and car seat settings are essential.
If you’re lifting heavy things daily, proper bending techniques and posture are critical.
Whatever you’re doing, there’s almost certainly a proper posture that goes alongside it!
Stop the activity causing symptoms for a prolonged amount of time. This is VERY important. Give your affected joint a break. If for example, you’re on the computer regularly, schedule in regular breaks. If you’re a big gamer or heavily into crocheting for hours, take regular breaks, or even a day or two off during the week.
It’s important not to overwork the muscles, tendons and joints etc. so that we can continue using them freely without pain.
Consult a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist
These specialists are trained healthcare professionals who can help provide exercises and advice on how to strengthen and relax your muscles and joints. As mentioned earlier, if your posture is causing troubles, they may also be able to help you establish a good posture.
Particularly focusing on strengthening, stretching, and aerobic exercises. Good examples include yoga, Pilates and weight lifting (this doesn’t have to be heavyweights. Small dumbbells are also amazing).
Of course, these are just some tips to help thwart off RSI. There are other methods that utilize compression bands, wrist supports and splints. Personally, I feel they’re best advised by a professional who knows the exact muscles, joints and ligaments that need supporting, so don’t hesitate to ask them. These can be invaluable and may help prevent a lot of progressing discomfort.
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication.