Many people, at one time or another, will suffer from what are known as repetitive strain injuries (or RSIs). These types of injuries generally occur as a result of repetitive physical movements and motions which, over an extended period of time, can result in damage to muscles and tissues which connect bones and muscles, such as tendons and ligaments. Certain jobs and vocations make people more susceptible to these injuries, such as movers and musicians. Their characteristic RSI injuries generally happen because of the specific tasks and motions that they repeatedly perform, day-after-day.
Additionally, the ever-growing increase of the use of computers and keyboards has also significantly contributed to the recent epidemic of RSIs of the hands, wrists, and arms. The prolific and constant use of pointer devices, like mice, are thought to be the primary cause. The action of performing countless, fast repetitive motion of making keystrokes, along with extended periods of gripping and dragging a mouse, slowly, but inevitably results in cumulative damage to the body’s connective tissues of the arms and hands.
Tendonitis, which is the most common type of RSI, is most often reported to occur in the hands, wrists, and elbows, although the connective tissues of any joint in the body could potentially suffer from it, depending on what type of repetitive action is being made. There are other conditions often associated with inflamed tendons, such as the condition called tenosynovitis.
Tendonitis generally results in constant, long-term pain and tenderness. The resulting scarring of the connective tissues often restricts the function of the affected limbs, and doesn’t allow a sufferer to be able to move through their entire, normal range of motion. The increase in both pain and stiffness is usually somewhat gradual and cumulative, except in the case of the RSI being the result of a quick, sudden tearing. The most widespread and common factor that these injuries share is that a gradual overloading of the tendons occurs due to a repetitive motion without sufficient recovery time.
The carpal tunnel is a pathway which goes through the wrist created by the eight bones of the wrist, along with the transverse carpal ligament, a thick piece of connective tissue which stretches across the top of the pathway. Inside this tunnel are tendons that attach to the forearm muscles and are used to flex your appendages. Also, the median nerve, goes through this tunnel.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, an increasingly presenting condition, is caused by pressure exerted on the the median nerve. This is generally the result of the tendons becoming swollen enough to fill in this pathway. This nerve also tends to be extremely sensitive to pressure. Repeated extending and flexing of the wrist is usually the cause of the inflammation, which, over time, often results in excessive pressure being placed on the nerve.
Treating RSIs with Magnetic Therapy
The primary goal when treating RSI’s, including both tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, is to first try to relieve the inflammation and swelling surrounding the tendons, nerves, muscles and other tissues. Then, to aid in the repair of the damaged tissues. While traditional treatments generally center around the use of pain-killers, rest, splints, or even surgery, magnetic therapy acts to treat the core inflammation, which is perpetuating the injury.
While treating RSIs, magnets should generally be placed directly over the area of the injury. Generally, some type of wrap, bandage, or other magnetic therapy device is used to affix the magnets, as they can also give some support in addition to the magnet therapy. An RSI located in the back is often treated using a magnetic therapy back support. Results are often felt fairly quickly as the magnetic field acts to relieve the inflammation which is squeezing the nerve endings.
Magnetic Therapy for Tendonitis
Most often located in the joins of the arms, tendonitis is often treated with straps wrapped around the joint, or sometimes by using magnetic jewelry. If magnet therapy jewelry is worn around the wrist and the tendonitis is located in the elbow then the jewelry would have to be quite strong for the magnetic field to penetrate to the area of the injury. The strength of a magnetic field grows weaker the farther you get from the source of the field. For this reason, when treating tendonitis located in the elbow, a therapy device, such as a magnetic therapy elbow brace, should be used instead of jewelry.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome always occurs in the wrist and is generally simple to treat using a wrist support or a magnet therapy bracelet. Like other conditions, magnetic therapy must be used all day and night in order to get the maximum benefit. This is especially true of carpal tunnel syndrome, as the majority of the symptoms are felt at night (tingling, cramping, numbness, and swelling).