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How to Heal Repetitive Injuries

Repetitive strain injuries cost the nation more than $20 billion a year. The average cost per workman’s compensation claim exceeds $12,000. And these repetitive strain (or motion) injuries are getting worse. Repetitive micro-traumas cause inflammation in the soft tissue, scarring, and impinge upon nerves, which leads to devastating pain. Many people  suffering from micro-traumas try physical therapy, drugs, surgery, or other solutions … only to have the pain persist .

Often these people don’t even realize what’s truly causing  their chronic pain. Their entire posture, movement patterns and body tension are perpetuating the problem. Fixing the symptom often doesn’t last because the cause lies in other areas of the body.

Healing the cause of Repetitive Injuries

Once you step back to look at why a particular part of the body continues to be painful or injured, you see how that body part’s movement is not performing its intended design. Your body is very adaptive, yet if you continue to repeat a particular movement it needs to be done in the most efficient manner. Efficient body mechanics require a relaxed and aligned body.

As you get older, your body is less resilient not because of aging, but because of increased systemic tension and declining alignment. Eventually, your weak links break. I’ve seen runners’ chronic knee injuries return after multiple successful surgeries because the misaligned leg remained. I’ve seen professional baseball pitchers’ rotator cuff injuries return because the shoulder was attempting to compensate for misaligned legs.

Think of your chronic injury,  usually around a joint, as being the misaligned wheel. You could keep replacing the unevenly worn tire, or you can realign the wheel. Any mechanical device will wear out before its time if the stress placed on the part is inappropriate.

From 2.5 million years of refinement, our structures developed effective ways to do repetitive tasks. If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t be here today. Our ancestors first hunted by out-running their prey (see persistence hunting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting). If they were injured, they starved.

What you can do for your Repetitive Injuries

Find an alternative practitioner who works with natural alignment, soft tissue release and natural movement patterns. I emphasize natural because most of our posture cues are handed down unquestioned. For example, standing aligned does not mean holding your shoulders back. You need someone who helps you release the underlying cause of your tension while helping you unlearn ineffective movement patterns. Massage, Rolfing, cranial-sacral, acupuncture and yoga are proven therapies to help repetitive motion/strain injuries.

Owen Marcus, MA Certified Advanced Rolfer, www.align.org, 32 yrs experience – call if you have questions: 265.8440.

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