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Repetitive Strain Syndrome

It seems that the human body was not designed tio repeat the same movements over and over again, because when it does so it develops all sorts of problems, from writer's cramp to tennis elbow, and even, now space invader's wrist! 'Repetitive Strain Syndrome' is a term used to describe a whole range of conditions which come from continuously using the same joints and muscles, whether typing, packing cases, operating machinery or picking grapes in the fields.

Over-using particular muscles can result in muscle fatigue, inflammation and various sorts of damage to the bones, joints, cartilage, tendons and tissue. Apart from pain and discomfort, one may experience stiffness and fatigue.

It is essential that the first symptoms of RSS are treated, as neglect can lead in later life to the development of conditions such as arthritis. lessening your chances of developing RSS is important too and can often be achieved very simply by using ergonomic furniture, varying the working posture and breaking up repetitive actions - although all this is easier said than done. And it's no use getting a new chair  if you are still going to slump over the keyboard!

In countries where RSS is recognised as a compensatory injury at work it is keeping a lot of lawyers in brisk business. In Britain you may have trouble persuading your boss that you have a work-related condition and need time off work. This is one reason for getting a medical opinion. You also need an accurate diagnosis. In this section I cover seven conditions which could be classified as Repetitive Strain Syndrome, starting with tenosynovitis-a term often wrongly applied to other conditions in this group.

inflammation of the fibrous sheaths which enclose the tendons of the ankles and wrists as tenosynovitis. When these parts of the body become inflamed there is immediate pain and a dull ache which can travel up the forearms or legs. Other symptoms are cracking and grinding noises, numbness, tingling sensations, stiffness and increasing weakness. Sometimes the joints swell. Tenosynovitis mainly affects people who use their hands and wrists for long periods of time-from pianists and computer whizz-kids to carpenters, painters and decorators.

Treat this condition as soon as you can. Use Ice-massage on the affected area and massage frequently. Use the following formula or make your own from the list that follows:

Tenosynovitis Massage Formula
Peppermint 10 drops-Lavender 10 drops- Eucalyptus 10 drops, diluted in 30ml vegetable oil.

Tenosynovitis Essential Oils
Chamomile Roman, Lavender, Chamomile German, Eucalyptus lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus peppermint.

Inflammation of the tendons of the wrists can become a work hazard if the fingers and joints start to lock. Again, this is a condition that affects people who use their hands a great deal in their work. Symptoms usually start with a tingling numbness in the fingers  and hand. Ice-massage the affected area and massage with the following essential oils.

Tendinitis Massage Formula
Rosemary 10 drops, Lavender 10 drops, Peppermint 10 drops, diluted in 30ml vegetable oil.

Tendinitis Essential oils
Rosemary, Ginger, Lavender, Eucalyptus lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus peppermint.

Typists and clerical workers are particularly prone to develop these harmless but unsightly swellings that appear on the back of the hand or wrist. Ganglions are cysts. They look like a round nodule of jelly under the surface of the skin and will move around if pressed. They can be dispersed gradually by gentle massage and essential oils. When massaging, concentrate on the area of the swelling only. Make your own formula from the list of oils below, or use the synergistic blend - 1 drop per millilitre of base vegetable oil. massage three times a day.

Ganglion Synergistic Blend
Ginger 8 drops, Basil 5 drops, Patchouli 10 drops, Juniper 7 drops

Ganglion Essential Oils
Ginger, Basil, Juniper, Patchouli, Thyme linalol


Body Liniment

Reference: The Fragrant Pharmacy: Valerie Ann Worwood

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