|When you have been
sitting at the computer a long time, do your arms and wrists work
the way you want them to? Do you hurt enough to complain to your boss,
or even to talk to a doctor about it? Have you been told that you
have Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI)? Have you been told just live
with the pain? Part of the problem could be computer use. There is
hope; many people are getting help for their problem.
As you look at the screen and concentrate for hours, does your
head pull in toward the screen? Do you relax after every screen
of data or program? Most of us do not relax enough while working
on the computer. The neck muscles tighten and it is not noticed
at first. The arms rotate forward and the wrist starts to change.
All of this, in time, becomes noticed as the pain starts to intrude
into normal life. Sleeping starts to be interrupted and grip strength
starts to drop. In time, the pain gets bad enough to complain to
your partner; and in time to your boss.
One way to take care of the problem is to learn to relax. This
is the cheapest way and is the most often over-looked method. Each
program should first teach how to relax. I have yet to find one
that does. Each time the screen changes take a moment to breath
and let go of all of your tension. Every hour get up and walk for
one to five minutes. Learn to stay relaxed and alert while doing
your work. Getting tense and frustrated is common. Frequently, the
more tense you get, the more difficult the work becomes. Look around.
In many cases, the ones that stay relaxed can get more done, faster
and are fresher at the end of the day.
The most common way of dealing with computer stress is to live
with it. Next, is to change the workstation to improve the body
position. Then comes the medical intervention. The total costs for
the medical route frequently totals over $100,000 for a single case
and takes six months to several years. When you go into the medical
literature it is rare to hear of success rates of over 50 to 60%.
If they do surgery, it takes weeks to recover and there is a good
chance of the pain coming back. If nothing works, then frequently
people move onto a different type of work.
There is another way. Massage, if done right, can get the muscles
to relax and allow the head to move back. The shoulders rotate back
toward normal and frequently the wrist relaxes. To get this result,
many parts of the body need to be addressed. The rib cage has to
be loosened. The neck muscles get relaxed. This even includes many
of the muscles between the vertebrae. As each area of the upper
body is taken care of, it is easier for the entire region to feel
better. If you only glide over the surface then many of the deeper
muscles do not relax. If you go deep into the main pain areas, many
of the muscles causing the problem do not relax. Also, going deep
into the pain areas can cause enough pain that you could be sore
for a while and the healing may be limited. The easiest and fastest
way is to relax the more distant causative areas first and then
to work toward the problem areas. Frequently this technique releases
the problem faster and more gently.
Repetitive Stress Injury Syndrome is complex and is often mis-diagnosed.
One of the more common mistakes is to say that the problem is in
the Carpal Bones (wrist) when the real cause is elsewhere. The neck
and shoulder region control much of positioning of the arm bones.
This also controls the tension on the muscles going through the
Carpal region. To cut and open up the wrist and not take the tension
off from the more distant muscles, can easily result in much of
the pain returning. The same kind of mistakes can easily be made
with the elbow, neck, low back and legs. All of the muscle tension
of the body needs to be looked at and addressed when taking care
Control Muscle Release Therapy is particularly effective at releasing
the structure easily and gently. In many cases long term (chronic)
conditions can be improved. For more information on this and many
other subjects check my web site or call and request reprints of
Take care of your body now and it will help to take care of you
For more information or an appointment call Todd Pennington,
LMT, 10175 SW Barbur Blvd. Suite 306, Portland OR 97219. (503) 244-4427,