Whether you are pitching in the big leagues or glued to your keyboard, repetitive strain injuries can be a real pain.
When a pitcher throws 100 pitches in a game and then rests for a few days, the body heals its tears. If he rushes to the mound too soon, the stress and tears build upon the previous injury. The little tears keep building up faster than they repair.
The stress of repetitive motion is a problem that extends far beyond the baseball diamond. In fact, it can be seen in nearly every human activity. Running for example, is one of the most obvious. Typically the most common injuries include shin splints (caused by tension on the tendons) and bone injury (such as a stress fracture) due to the impact of the foot hitting the ground.
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As many of us know firsthand, you don’t need to be a professional sportsman to suffer the effects of repeated physical stress or rather repetitive strain injury (RSI). Today such injuries are commonly associated with computer work. Have you ever experienced carpal tunnel syndrome? That sting and ache that can sometimes be felt all the way up the arm. Those who work outside the office such as laborers experience RSI in the workplace as well. Long sedentary periods spent in the same position whether sitting or standing all day can cause major issues from unnatural, limited and frequent movements of the body.
In all cases of repetitive stress, a simple preventative measure is to refrain from overuse, but oftentimes duty calls! Along with downtime you want to optimize your mechanics by using your whole body and reduce stress overall. For computer jockeys and laborers alike, the science of ergonomics (designing a workplace for optimum comfort, injury avoidance and efficiency) is key. Rest, recovery and varying the stress can reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury.
For those looking to find relief, you may want to consider acupuncture. Acupuncture is a proven treatment for not only pain relief but for inflammation reduction and trigger point (muscle knots) release. Acupuncture may also help accelerate the return to rehabilitation and training for athletes. With all injury-management strategies, a holistic and combined approach can often provide the most rapid recovery.