What is RSI, Tendonitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome?
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) occurs from repeated physical movements doing damage to tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. Occupations ranging from meatpackers to musicians have characteristic RSIs that can result from the typical tasks they perform. The rise of computer use and flat, light-touch keyboards that permit high speed typing have responded in an epic of injuries of the hands, arms, and shoulders. Use of pointing devices like mice and trackballs are as much a cause, if not more so. The thousands of repeated keystrokes and long periods of clutching and dragging with mice slowly accumulates damage to the body.
The term Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is not, in itself, a medical diagnosis. It is used to describe a number of named musculoskeletal conditions (such as Tenosynovitis, Cramp of the Hand, Tendonitis, etc.) as well as 'diffuse RSI' which is more difficult to define but which recent research attributes to nerve damage. These are almost always occupied in origin. 'Repetitive Strain Injury' is a term similar to that of 'sports injury' in that it tells more about how the injury was sustained, rather than what the injury actually is. This condition refers to the tender swapping of tendons, the rope or cord like structures which connect muscles to bones in order to work the joints of the body. When any group of tendons are overused microscopic tears can result, leading to inflammation. Even a minor contracting in the muscle can then lead to further irritation.
Tendonitis more commonly affects the hand, wrist, elbows and shoulders, although it may occur at any joint in the body. Other conditions may be linked to inflammation of the tendons, such as Tenosynovitis. Tendonitis results in pain and local tenderness. The thickening and scarring may prevent the affected fingers or limbs from going through their normal range of movements. The increase in pain and disability is usually gradual, unless the injury is the result of sudden strain (tearing) or a direct blow. The most common recognizable factor is overloading the tendon through repetitive physical activity. Certain sports may cause discomfort and at work it can occur from overuse of the keyboard, computer mouse or through routine assembly line work.
The carpal tunnel is a passageway in the wrist formed by the eight carpal (wrist) bones, which make up the floor and sides of the tunnel, and the transverse carpal ligament, a strong ligament stretching across the roof of the tunnel.
Inside the carpal tunnel are tendons which run down from the muscles in the forearm and work to flex your fingers and thumb. Also running through the tunnel is the median nerve, a cord about the size of a pencil, supplying information back to the brain about sensations you feel in your thumb, index, middle and (occasionally) ring fingers.
In carpal tunnel syndrome the median nerve gets squeezed, often because the tendons become swollen and overfill the tunnel. The median nerve within the carpal tunnel is very sensitive to pressure and so there are many possible causes including arthritis, fluid retention and diabetes. If the problem comes on during the day it is important to look for a link to regular physical activities at work or home, for example; writing, typing, using a computer mouse, DIY, housework or knitting. Repeated flexion and extension of the wrist, as is common in various work activities, can cause inflammation which puts pressure on the nerve. Work factors which can contribute to the condition include insufficient breaks and awkward posture.
Magnetic treatment of RSI, Tendonitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome.
RSI, Tendonitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome are injuries related to the stress and overload of tendons and muscles with in the body. Although most people associate them with the hand, wrist and arm, RSI can occur anywhere in the body where the is a constant repetition of an action. This type of strain injuries are usually acute in natural rather than chronic and can be treated very successfully. The predominant aim with all of these conditions is to reduce the inflammation which surrounds the strained tendons, muscles and tissues, plus renew the damaged soft tissue. Whilst conventional treatments revolve around using painkillers, rest, splints and even in some cases (carpal tunnel syndrome) surgery, magnets will work to treat the inflammation that is causing the condition to continue. Typical magnetic therapy treatments for these conditions would be:
1) RSI: Wherever the RSI is located magnets must be placed directly over the strained area. Most commonly straps or wraps are used as they also provide an element of support as well as magnetic therapy. For example RSI in the back would be treated with a back support. As RSI damage is usually limited to soft tissue, muscle and tendons results can be seen quite quickly as the magnetic field will reduce the inflammation which is pressing upon the nerve endings with in a few days (in most cases).
2) Tendonitis: Predominantly in the arm, this can be treated with straps around the injury or by using high strength magnetic jewelery. If jewelery is used on the wrist and the injury is in the elbow or upper arm then the strength of the jewelery must be strong enough to allow the magnetic field to penetrate all the way to the injury. As previously discussed a magnetic field weakens as it moves away from the magnetic source. For this reason the jewelery should be at least 2,000 gauss / 200 m Tesla per magnet.
3) Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is always located in the wrist and is very easy to handle with a wrist support or a magnetic bracelet. As with all conditions the magnets must be worn day and night to be of most benefit, this is particularly important with Carpal tunnel syndrome as most of the symptoms occur during the night time (pins and needles, cramp, numbness, swelling).
All three of these alimities are very painful and limit the mobility of the area that is affected, but they do not have an underlying disease process such as arthritis or osteoporosis. The damage occurs as a result of tasks which the sufferer does on a daily basis. This means that once the symptoms have been resolved the condition is, in effect, 'cured' in such that it will not reappear until the repetition has again been performed a significant number of times to cause the condition to reappear. As a result once the injury has been resolved sufferers can go for long periods of time with out any symptoms and when symptoms do start to reoccur the immediate application of magnets will resolve the pain very quickly.