Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Myofascial Stretching: A Guide to Self-Treatment

Stretching to combat RSI ...

"Stretches are an important component of repetitive strain recovery and prevention. With computer and desk work tasks, certain muscles become tight (such as the chest muscles) and others lengthen and become weak (such as the mid-back muscles). This imbalance leads to rounded shoulders and a forward head posture - a posture that increases the risk of injury. Postural imbalance can also cause of restrictions in the body's fascia, the spider web-like tissue that surrounds, supports and binds all the body's tissues from head to toe. These localized areas of restriction can lead to pain and dysfunction throughout the body as they cause stress and tension throughout the fascia.

Jill Stedronsky Morton and Brenda Pardy are two occupational therapists practicing in Denver, Colorado. They have recently published the book "Myofascial Stretching: A Guide to Self-Treatment". One goal of this book is to provide a resource "for the lay person who has chronic pain, muscular tightness and/or postural dysfunction."

In their individual prefaces, both therapists describe their own injuries and recovery. Myofascial release treatment and stretches played an integral role in their recovery. Having personally achieved recovery from such treatments, both therapists pursued training and now practice myofascial techniques in their clinic. Throughout the book, their experience and belief in the use of these techniques comes through. The authors emphasize the importance of holding gentle stretches, increasing awareness of the stretching sensation, listening to feedback from the body, and stretching consistently throughout the day - all concepts that help in the injury recovery process.

According to the authors, myofascial stretching "is a self treatment technique that results in permanent lengthening of the body's connective tissue and has the capacity to dramatically improve health and quality of life." The book "Myofascial Stretching" is a 50-page pictorial of stretches covering all body parts from the neck & jaw to the lower leg. In addition to the twelve sections relating to different parts of the body, their "Stretching Guide" gives a starting point for specific injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, hand pain, hip pain, sciatica, jaw tension and stress/tension related problems."    (Continued via BellaOnline, Marji Hajic)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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