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Fitness Article on Repetitive Strain Injury

Workout and Repetitive Strain

This fitness article courtesy of Julstro
What is Repetitive Strain Injury?

Repetitive strain injury is also called cumulative trauma disorder. Both names are often abbreviated to RSI or CTD by physical therapist. To the athlete, they both mean pain.

The terms repetitive strain injury (RSI) and cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) mean the same thing - a muscle that has been used so frequently, doing the same motion, that is has become injured. That is a very simple answer to a very complex muscular condition. Therapists treat repetitive strain injuries but self-treatment options also exist. Here's why self treatment may be a good choice for some: The discomfort caused by Repetitive Strain Injury will return because you are still doing the movements that caused the initial problem. When you go to a therapist you are receiving treatment that will last for a certain amount of time ( perhaps a week ), however, unless you change your lifestyle, the pain will return. Self treatment enables you to stop the discomfort immediately. You are not "chained" to any therapist or treatment program.

Muscles are the reason we can move - when a muscle pulls on a bone, the bone moves. When the bone moves, we can walk, lift our arms, turn our head, wiggle a finger or a toe, in fact it even takes a muscle to blink an eye. Our bodies have 300 pairs of muscles for a total of 600 muscles.

All muscles have similar characteristics:

all muscles pull - they never push
muscles go in a straight line, not around corners
muscle originate on one bone and cross over a joint
muscles merge into fibers called tendons
the muscle tendon attaches to a bone
when the muscle pulls the tendon, the bone moves

Muscles are made of many small fibers all lying next to each other, in some cases there are thousands of fibers, merging into the tendon. Each individual fiber works exactly the same way - it contracts and pulls on the tendon. Depending on the amount of strength needed to perform a task, a variety of the fibers will contract (shorten and pull) causing the action to occur. With this amazing system we have the strength to pick up a feather - or a heavy weight. The more fibers contracted, the greater strength expended.

What is muscle memory? There is a phenomenon called "muscle memory". When a muscle is contracted repeatedly, the brain registers it as needing to be shorter, and it changes the "set-point" of the muscle, making it shorter. Likewise, when a person stretches on a regular basis, the brain registers the change and lengthens the muscle. This lengthening releases the tension on the insertion points of the muscle, and eliminates pain that is caused by the short muscle, or its tendon, pulling on the bone.

Repetitive Strain Injury can, and does, happen to muscles throughout the body. Every muscle spasm has its own referred pain area, frequently far from the source of the spasm. The spasms are commonly called "trigger points".

How can repetitive strain injury be helped? The Julstro Self-Treatment System for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/Wrist and Hand Pain, and the Julstro Pain-Free series of eBooks have a complete set of charts that enable you to find the area of pain, and how to find the spasm that causes each pain.

You will be shown easy-to-do methods for treating each muscle spasm, relieving the tension on the bone and releasing nerves that are trapped by the tight muscles. You will be amazed at how quickly you will get relief from pain.

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