Continuing our blog series about how modern life can cause various skin, muscle and skeletal problems. This time we look at RSI caused by the overuse of mobile phones etc. Click to discover more.
Another negative effect that can arise from mobile technologies can be repetitive strain injury (RSI). This occurs when a repeated action causes pain in the nerves, tendons and muscles. Read on to discover how pure essential oils and other natural ingredients can help.
The overuse of our hands and fingers can put them at high risk. For many of us, modern life means that we're using keyboards, mobile phones and tablets for long periods of time and repeatedly throughout the day. So it’s important for us to be aware of how we can help to reduce the chances of strains and injuries.
Physiotherapists have expressed concerns about the kinds of effect the heavy use of smart phones and other technological devices are having on our muscles. The thumb muscles are particularly at risk – the constant action of swiping and pressing with the same thumb can cause problems if done excessively. (http://www.csp.org.uk/frontline/article/physio-warns-smart-phone-rsi-risk).
You can reduce your risk by ensuring you alternate from hand to hand so the pressure isn’t all placed on one side. Another more obvious tip is simply to reduce your use of your technological devices as much as possible - not always easy these days!
Limit your use to when it is really needed and allow yourself regular breaks if working at a computer. RSI is also a risk to those playing on game consoles for an extended amount of time so it’s worth talking to your child about posture, taking regular breaks and getting enough proper exercise.
Massage can offer an effective treatment for your hands and fingers. This can be a great treatment for anyone at risk of RSI. Better still if essential oils are incorporated to the massage, they can offer warming and stimulating properties to help soothe and relax the muscles.
We’ve created a lovely hand pampering guide to help you give those hard working hands the attention they deserve.
Step 1: Turn It Off!
Switch off your smart phone, laptop or any other device that your attention may be drawn to. You won’t want to use them while your hands are covered in oils anyway!
Step 2: Give Yourself A Hand Bath
Much like a standard foot soak, we can offer the same treatment to our hard working hands. A warm hand bath with the right essential oils added can really help to soothe cramps, aches and pains in the hands.
Here’s a lovely blend you can try.
Add to a bowl of warm water:
3 drops of Rosemary – stimulating, invigorating and uplifting. Rosemary can be used to ease any aches and pains your muscles may be experiencing. Its natural anti-inflammatory and stimulating effects can help promote blood circulation.
2 drops of Eucalyptus - its anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and stimulating effects make Eucalyptus an effective oil to use on overworked muscles and joints.
For an added benefit, you can add half a cup of Epsom salts to your soak. The primary compound of Epsom Salts is magnesium – this is what helps the body absorb minerals and flush out any lactic acid build up (this can be caused by overworking muscles).
Step 3: Time For A Hand Massage
Add 4-10 drops of one of the following essential oils (or a blend of two or more up to 10 drops in total):
Black Pepper - often used in natural treatments for arthritis due to its stimulating and warming effects. Black pepper acts as a natural anti-spasmodic to provide relief from pain and cramps.
Lavender – useful for treating muscle spasms and pain. Lavender’s anti-inflammatory properties enables it to get to work on sore joints and tendons, whilst leaving you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
Peppermint – refreshing and cooling. Peppermint is a great oil to use when massaging aching joints. The oil can be used to help reduce inflammation and cool over-worked joints. A little bit goes a long way with this oil so you won’t need more than 2 or 3 drops.
Rosemary and Eucalyptus will again work well in this blend.
Take your mixture and gently massage each hand at a time. Ensure you cover all areas right the way to the finger tips and down to the wrists. Allow the oils to sink in so that your body absorbs the properties and feel the benefits.
Remember, if symptoms develop and persist then you should seek advice from a qualified Aromatherapist or your GP. Symptoms can include pain, twitching or cramping muscles or the loss of movement in the hand or fingers.
Thanks for reading! Click here to see our other blogs. There are dozens of posts offering a myriad of tips, suggestions and remedies on many different problems.