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Overview of Treatments

Generally treatments for RSI type conditions can be divided into two categories: Conventional and Complementary. However, it is important to bear in mind that these categories are quite broad and treatments such as massage (for example) can fall into both categories.

Some of the conventional therapies for RSI type conditions include:

  • Physiotherapy.
    Physical methods are employed to promote healing, which may include the use of light, infrared and ultraviolet rays, heat, electric current, massage, manipulation and remedial exercise.
  • Medication.
    Can include; Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, antidepressants and muscle relaxants.
  • Immobilisation.
    Splints can alleviate pain as they immobilize hands and arms. However the danger is that muscles atrophy quickly. Immobilisation also includes resting the affected limb.
  • Clinical Hypnosis.
    Some hypnotherapists help patients come up with images aimed at promoting healing.
  • Steroid Injections.
    Cortisone injections are administered into the tendon sheath, the pain trigger point joint, carpal tunnel, cervical facets or relevant soft tissue. More often they give some short term pain relief.
  • Surgery.
    Most physicians recommend surgery only if they feel that conservative treatments will not be effective in treating the injury. Specific nerve compression - well defined carpal tunnel syndrome and very occasionally cases of epicondylitis and De Quevain’s disease may respond to surgery.
  • Chiropractic and Osteopathy.
    Chiropractors and osteopaths manipulate joints and muscles which help a range of conditions, especially neck and back pain. There is usually a great deal overlap between ciropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy.
  • Massage.
    There are a wide range of massage techniques that all work on soft tissue. They involve the manipulating, kneading, rolling and squeezing of soft tissue to bring about a relaxed state.
  • Pain Management.
    Pain clinics which support cognitively, whilst not curing the problem, do allow patients to come to terms with their chronic disability.

Complementary Therapies
Some of the complementary therapies for RSI type conditions include:
  • Alexander technique.
    A postural retraining method for guiding the individual to “good use” their body.
  • Pilates.
    A body conditioning method that targets the deep abdominal muscles to build up their strength and improve flexibility.
  • Yoga.
    A mind, body and spirit decipline, the physical movements alone will help with fitness, flexibility and stretching can help to manage the symptoms of RSI.
  • Tai’chi.
    Ancient Chinese system of moving meditation which is also a martial art. Benefits for people with RSI include achieving near ideal posture.
  • Bowen Technique.
    A Hands on therapy for muscles and tissues using the thumbs and findgers.
  • Feldenkrais.
    A system of body work and gentle exercise aimed at achieving better posture and co-ordination. Its primary goal is to teach greater body awareness.
  • Shiatsu.
    A Japanese ‘finger pressure’ therapy. Treatments in some respects is like massage, but with the therapist working with the acupuncture points and meridians, using the thumbs, fingers, palms, elbows, knees and feet to apply pressure to the energy lines.
  • Acupuncture.
    Ancient Chinese healing art that seeks to remove energy blockages in the body by applying gentle pressure with tiny, sterilized needles. It is used to relieve symptoms, as well as promote general well-being.
  • Magnet therapy.
    Magnets paced on the body to have an effect on charged particles in the blood, helping blood vessels to expand and thereby increase circulation. Increased circulation promotes healing.

More details and links to these services can be found in the RSIA Online Directory.

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