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RSI (repetitive strain injury)

General characteristics

General characteristics

Repetitive strain injury can arise from any repititious action such as typing, lifting, vibrating tools, general overuse of muscles etc. It can affect muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves causing pain on movement of the overused connective tisues. The signs of overuse include tingling sensations, tenderness, throbbing, avoidance of certain activities etc.
The term RSI is relatively new and basically describes other conditions such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and the like that ultimately result in inflammation and therefore pressure on surrounding nerves and other connectibve tissues. Blood circulation may also be impaired in the surrounding tissues.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Good diet is very important so include plenty of fresh and raw vegetables, grains and fruit. Drink several glasses of filtered water daily.

Include plenty of B vitamins in your diet, especially B6 as this is important in nerve functioning and preventing inflammation. Foods rich in these include bananas, spinach, sweet peppers, garlic, tuna, cod, cauliflowers, mustard and turnip greens, celery, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, watermelon, turkey, prunes, molasses and chard. Your diet should be based on fresh whole grains, fruit, veg and nuts and seeds.

Have a bowl of home mixed muesli for breakfast including grains, dried fruits, some nuts and seeds and include some crushed or ground linseeds which are good against inflammation.

Eat a small bowl of fresh pineapple and/or papaya each day as they both contain an enzyme called bromelain which is very good at reducing inflammation anywhere in the body, whatever the cause. If you can't use fresh, then the tinned fruit that does not have anything added to it will do.

Avoid salt and foods containing it as this causes tissues to retain water which can press on to the median nerve.

Avoid all processed and junk foods and anything with hydrogenated fats or oils as these pre-dispose the body to inflammatory states.

Cut right down on caffeinated drinks, alcohol and smoking.

Use chilli and ginger in your cooking to increase circulation and reduce pain and swelling.

Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory so use in cooking or add a half teaspoon of the powder to herbal teas or warm milk.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Comfrey leaf and/or root poultices or washes can be applied to the area to help ease inflammation and pain and to encourage healing of ny damaged tisues. Make a strong tea of either or both and soak the body part in the warm tea. Alternatively whizz up some root or leaf with a little water or oil and apply to the area and secure with a bandage or similar. You can also add a little grated ginger to the tea to enhance blood flow.

Yarrow leaves are anti-inflammatory, increase blood flow and have a pain releiving effect also. Use as a tincture, tea or poultice.

Anti-inflammatory herbs such as devils claw, st johns wort, celery seeds, turmeric, solomons seal can all help when taken as tinctures or as external poultices etc.

Pain relieving herbs include white willow, meadowsweet, skullcap.

Proper blood flow can be encouraged with herbs such as cayenne, ginger, ginkgo and prickly ash.

Make a formula from the following tinctures, white willow, black cohosh, celery seed, meadowsweet, devils claw, wild yam and prickly ash. Use 25ml of each and 5ml of prickly ash, mix together and take a teaspoonful in a little water 3 times a day.
Fresh or dried comfrey leaf can be applied to the joints daily as a poultice.
Turmeric powder has a good reputation as an anti-inflammatory so add a teaspoon to poultices or a good pinch to each tea or tincture dose.
Make a strong tea of st johns wort and soak a cloth in the hot liquid. Apply to the joint area and keep warm with a hot water bottle.

Natural healing

Natural healing

A useful page detailing causes, symptoms, exercises and other good advice can be found here.

Here is another really interesting article by a man who suffered with RSI for years until he found something that worked....

Acupuncture may provide temporary relief.

Fish oils and seed/nut oils are rich in omega fatty acids which can help with inflammation.

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