Repetitive Use Injuries

Activities of Daily Living

By: Erin Rose Turner, LMT

Here are some thoughts I've compiled from a few years of listening, observing and working with the healing of "Repetitive Use Injuries" and their related actions because, any time we bring a new and consistent posture/movement into our daily lives, it's a good idea to consider a few important points:

1. Diversity of use keeps the whole joint active and lubricated. Change up the way you hold and move things.

2. When putting pressure in toward a joint, make sure to flex the muscles that surround that area first, and actively use them to guide your body though the movement, to avoid over exerting the less-flexible ligaments and tendons affected.

3. Recognize when you have an activity that is so repetitive it could harm your joints if performed carelessly so that you can be proactive, intentional and strength building in the process; instead of injurious.

4. Remember that stretches and exercises have many different applications and desired outcomes. For example, there is "Athletic" stretching for paced progress/deadline based-goal reaching and, there is "Recuperative" stretching for recovery and gentle, body-led progress. One is for healing and the other is for strengthening. Both are an important part of wellness but, are best used at different times.

5. With cooling temperatures this winter, even the most limber person experiences a decrease in flexibility if not deliberately warmed up. Give your muscles time to ease into to any repetitive efforts you'll be making. Even if your day includes 2-3 hours of commuting, consider 3-5 minutes of medium-depth stretching (every hour or so) to build a healthy rhythm of joint lubrication and muscular flexibility into your lifestyle.

6. Stay hydrated with water and tea. Coffee and juice aren't enough to fully hydrate you. We all need water throughout the day.

With these 5 simple steps, you're directly supporting your own injury prevention, improved circulation and decreased muscle aches; all very good things. Happy Healing.

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