Fibromyalgia Exercises
Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

1. PROBLEM:
PAIN RESULTING FROM COMPUTER USE.

How many of your patients have pain problems that are aggravated or caused by computer use? These problems include carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist and hand pain, elbow pain, shoulder pain, headaches, neck and back pain, hip pain. These problems are referred to by the general term, repetitive strain injury (rsi), and may involve nerve and joint injury, but almost invariably involve muscle injury, termed myofascial pain syndrome.1 Computer use often also aggravates fibromyalgia.2

1. SOLUTION:
STRETCHES ON CD THAT POP UP ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN AND REMIND THE USER TO STRETCH.


EASY SEQUENCES OF VIDEOTAPED STRETCHES PLACED ON A CD THAT POP-UP ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN

Easy sequences of videotaped stretches on CD that pop-up at selected intervals, and lead the user through stretches of those muscles most commonly involved in repetitive strain injury. These exercises help prevent and treat myofascial pain syndrome. They are also helpful for fibromyalgia. When patients with fibromyalgia stretch their taut, tender muscles, pain severity is often reduced. The exercises also assist in the prevention and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. The introduction includes invaluable information about computer office ergonomics.


2. PROBLEM:
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF EFFECTIVE STRETCH TECHNIQUES.

Many people know they should stretch but do not know or remember how to stretch effectively. People who do know how to stretch effectively don’t consistently do so.

2. SOLUTION:
STRETCHES DESIGNED BY AN RSI EXPERT.

These stretches were designed by Lucy Whyte Ferguson, DC, who was awarded the Janet Travell, M.D. Soft Tissue Pain Management Award by the American Academy of Pain Management in 1996. Over 60 different stretches are organized in 12 sequences that address the muscles involved in repetitive strain syndromes, using principles of myofascial pain treatment, as discussed in these texts:

  • Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual, Volumes 1 and 2, by David Simons, Janet Travell, and Lois Simons.

  • Clinical Mastery in the Treatment of Myofascial Pain, edited by Lucy Whyte Ferguson, D.C. and Robert Gerwin, M.D.3


3. PROBLEM:
BOREDOM WITH NORMAL STRETCH TECHNIQUES.

If stretches are boring, people will not continue to perform them.

3. SOLUTION:
GUIDED STRETCHING ACCOMPANIED BY RELAXING MUSIC AND A MOUNTAIN VISTA.

The video stretches were performed by live participants at a world heritage site; the Taos Pueblo. They include classic myofascial stretches, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and Yoga segments. Each segment lasts approximately 2 to 5 minutes and is accompanied by relaxing music: Harp Music, Flamenco, and Native American Flute.


See also effectiveness information.

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1. Myofascial Pain Syndrome is a condition in which injured muscles have taut bands and tender knots that can cause both local and referred pain. Basic treatment approaches involve muscle elongation or stretching.

2. Fibromyalgia is a generalized chronic muscle pain condition in which many muscles and tissues are tender and painful. It is often accompanied by fatigue, poor sleep, and irritable bowel syndrome. Many patients with fibromyalgia also have muscles with taut bands and tender knots (myofascial pain syndrome) and can reduce the severity of their pain by treatments that involve muscle elongation and stretching.

3. Both texts are published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, and are available through their website, www.lww.com.



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