Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a number of different ways to treat Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). One of the most popular is acupuncture. Acupuncture uses fine needles to restore the free flow of qi and blood to relieve symptoms such as pain. From a scientific perspective, acupuncture is known to work in a number of different ways:
- Blocks pain signals by affecting the central nervous system
- Triggers the release of endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers
- Relaxes the muscles
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves circulation
If you have other symptoms elsewhere in your body, this could also be a result of qi stagnation or blood stasis. It is also possible that you could have an underlying condition which is causing your circulation to be more sluggish.
Acupuncture may be given in the local area, where you are experiencing the pain, and/or other places according to any other symptoms you may have. The aim of treatment is to restore the free flow of qi and blood and rectify any deeper imbalances if necessary.
Your Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner may also recommend exercises or stretches to help relieve your RSI symptoms, and give advice about ways to improve your posture and lifestyle.
What is Repetitive Strain Injury?
Repetitive strain injury, commonly known as RSI, is a musculoskeletal disorder which results from repetitive activity, usually at work. RSI can affect any part of the upper limbs, from the neck right down to the fingers. The elbows, shoulders and the wrists are all areas commonly affected by RSI.
RSI happens when the tendons or muscles become inflamed or damaged due to repetitive movements over time. Trapped nerves can also be caused by RSI. The most common symptoms include:
- Aching or pain in the affected area
- Stiff joints
- Throbbing, tingling, numbness or weakness
Guide to Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury
Although TCM can successfully relieve your RSI symptoms, there are also many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing RSI in the first place:
If you work at a desk, ensure it is set up so that your shoulders, wrists and elbows are in a comfortable position
- Type using both hands and keep your wrists straight
- Take regular breaks to get up, move around and stretch
- Wear protective clothing if using machinery or tools
- Warm up properly before any physical exercise
- Rest regularly during workouts
- Try Pilates, yoga or tai chi to improve your posture, balance and flexibility
By making these lifestyle changes, you will be helping your qi and blood to flow freely, reducing the risk of RSI and keeping your body healthy and free from pain.
Spinewise mission is to empower our patients in their own healthcare and to use acupuncture to help them achieve functional and lifestyle health.