Repetitive Strain Injuries


I have a silver ring my friend Darrell made for me from a fifty-cent piece. He tapped the edge of the coin with a serving spoon to flare it out into a nice broad flange. He reckons he must have hit it about six hundred thousand times to change its shape from a thin coin to a broad ring. Of course he then had to drill the center out. That’s where the finger goes. Like the drops of water that can erode a stone, small repetitive stresses can move mountains, or at least make holes in them.

Opening and closing a door over and over again hundreds or thousands of times may eventually damage the hinge. If it’s well oiled, and you don’t slam the door, you can get away with a lot of repetitive motion. However, it should be no surprise that repetitive strain will lead to problems.

Dealing with repetitive strain injuries (RSI) is itself a problem. It is difficult, in our daily lives, to avoid renewed stress to the injured part and so we perpetuate the lesion. Mild non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do not help very much and steroids, like cortisone, though they might help in the short term, are extremely toxic. As pills, internally, steroids have serious side effects. As injections there is bone loss! One shot is fine. A second shot is okay. A third shot is malpractice. If you’ve wondered why your doctor doesn’t give you steroids, it’s because they’re dangerous.

So what can you do?

Over the last while I have found in my practice that RSIs respond remarkably well to a combination of "Spontaneous Movement" and Trigenics.

In Spontaneous Movement (one of the CranioSacral Therapy techniques) the practitioner induces gentle, involuntary movement, actually guided by the injured muscles, tissues, themselves! These spontaneous movements allow the tissue to, as it were, unwind. In clinical practice spontaneous movement is extremely helpful with RSI.

Trigenics is a new therapy that uses the wiring of the nerves and muscles to release muscle spasms and tension. If we contract biceps lightly, triceps relaxes. If we contract triceps lightly, biceps relaxes. We can use this "reciprocal inhibition" to relax strained tissues.

Spontaneous Movement and Trigenics work wonderfully together, in tandem, and can be the key to resolving repetitive strain injuries.

Of course it is importance to minimize the stress to the injured part during treatment, after treatment, and best of all, if possible, before the injury occurs. You can find detailed guidance to other facets of coping with RSIs on the web the Harvard RSI Action Home Page and/or at and again, at And there is a book by Pascarelli and Quilter’s, "Repetitive Strain Injury: a Computer User's Guide", which some refere to as the definitive text: "a comprehensive source of information on how to live with and recover from RSI". Treatment options are discussed, but RSI problems are notoriously resistant to standard treatments. That is why the "discovery" that RSI responds to Spontaneous Movement and Trigenics is so fortuitous. If you are having trouble with a RSI, you are more than welcome to give us a call.


Dr. Norman Allan DC PhD

Chiropractor and Practitioner of Alternative Therapies

2 College Street Suite 105, Toronto

416 928 9272 /