Understanding RSI's

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This chemical change affects and changes the quality of normal connective tissue. Rather than being able to continue functioning in a normal, random orientation that allows for easy movement and stretch in all directions, the connective tissue now has a propensity for movement in fewer directions, more in line with the directional pull created when the hydrogen bonds formed between the fibers in the connective tissue.

You can experience an example of this habitual holding by crossing your arms across your chest. Notice the ease you experienced when you crossed your arms and how effortlessly you chose which arm would be on top. Notice how this position feels. Now, cross your arms with the other arm on top and notice how much more difficult it is to not only figure out how to get the other arm to end up on top, but to also notice how different and uneasy it feels.

This effect is the result of a lifetime of habitually crossing the same arm over the other, thousands of times throughout your life. The connective tissue related to this movement has become patterned and locked into an orientation that makes one version of the position feel "right" and the reverse to feel "wrong". The same effect happens when we, as creatures of habit, reproduce the same movements over and over again in the course of living our lives.

To the trained therapist, connective tissue that has undergone this type of adaptation will feel differently to palpation. It is often slick, slippery, thickened or ropey, yielding muscles that feel like they are encased in a tight sleeve of tissue.

Another very common effect is that the tissue becomes sticky, causing it to stick to neighboring bones, muscles, skin or nerves and blood vessels. This sticking effect will inhibit the normal movement of these components, making muscles feel weaker, compromising blood flow, irritating nerves and limiting range of motion. Naturally, this kind of restriction adds even more strain to the mix, resulting in ever-widening areas of the body that become affected by repetitive strain, and contributes to the often confusing kinds of symptoms that people experience.

The quickest and most optimal way to get adhesions to release is to visit a therapist who understands the adhesion process. This therapist will use hand or finger pressure and slow motion in the region of the adhesion to stretch it into releasing. This breaks the hydrogen bonds holding the affected tissue in its compromised state, allowing it to return to its normal condition. Gradually, the body's ability to move in all directions, with full range of motion is restored.

Another effective way to release adhesions is to utilize specially designed stretching exercises that reach the affected tissues and encourage them to release slowly and measurably. Using this technique is much more available to the average person, is less expensive than seeing a therapist and can be enjoyable at the same time.

It is important to recognize that repetitive strain injuries are a natural response to inappropriate or strained use of the body. It is possible to restore the body to a more normal state, but if the body is used inappropriately once again, the same adhesion patterns can form all over again. It is important that corrective stretches and other appropriate measures to reduce strain such as good ergonomics be incorporated into the daily life of a person who has suffered from RSI's. This will help maintain the highest level of relief and prevent future recurrence.


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