OOS is actually an
umbrella term covering a range of occupational overuse conditions, rather
than being a condition in itself. OOS
symptoms include pain and/or other sensations in muscles, tendons, nerves,
soft tissues and joints.
In the clinic, the most common OOS related symptoms I see are tingling in
the fingers, and pain and discomfort in the wrist, forearm and
elbow. This pain is usually caused by prolonged muscle tension,
repetitive actions and sustained posture, together with poor breathing
patterns. Have you ever noticed how you tend to almost hold your
breath when you're concentrating hard, working away on the
computer?? There is also usually increased amounts of tension
throughout the neck and shoulder muscles generally.
But the good news is that addressed early, OOS type symptoms can often be
successfully managed, and of course massage is an important tool in doing
It is necessary to address the underlying cause of the symptoms, before
addressing the symptoms themselves. Fortunately most workplaces have
now addressed their workplace design, or are willing to do so if employees
ask. While looking at workplace design, you also need to consider
your own work technique and posture - do you sit properly, or do you tend
to cross your legs or slouch at your desk? Regular breaks are also
important - but not only to have a break from the repetitive keyboard and
mouse work. You need to get up and MOVE. Our bodies
weren't designed to be static, so muscles tighten, blood and lymph flow is
impeded and the tension-pain cycle begins.
Regular exercise is also
an important tool in reducing OOS related symptoms - stretching the
muscles and helping blood and lymph to flow efficiently so that blood and
lymph move nutrients into the cells and remove waste products.
Stress is also thought to be a contributing factor to the development of
OOS conditions, so learning strategies to manage stressors that can't be
removed is highly recommended.
Relaxation - sometimes it seems so under rated these days with the busy
lives we all lead. Relaxation can be something as simple as having a
massage or a walk on the beach or something as learned as yoga or playing
So what part does massage have to play in all this?
Well massage can help in many ways. Firstly in helping to identify
an underlying problem - for example, many people aren't aware how much
pain and tension they have in their arms until they have their arms
massaged. They would have found out eventually when the muscles
finally cried enough, but identification of the problems brewing enable
earlier treatment and usually a more successful outcome.
Secondly, having found the issues in the tissues, they can often be
addressed with specific massage techniques and a stretching programme.
Thirdly, your massage therapist may also help you to identify the
underlying causes of the symptoms, and suggest strategies for addressing
And of course, last but by no means least, massage can provide you with
relaxation and time out - often what is missing most.
Prevent chafing and
blisters with BODYGLIDE from the USA.
BODYGLIDE is the official skin lubricant of the USA triathlon team and is
wetsuit safe and water and sweat resistant. Its reliable,
non-greasy, non-oily, and comes in a no mess stick for easy application.
It is an amazing product, particularly popular with runners although it
can be used by everyone. Get some for yourself or it makes a great
Christmas gift, especially for the athlete in your family.
Brochures and product now available here at Botany Muscle Therapy.
know we had this stretch in August, but it is such an important one for
the management of OOS symptoms, here it is again.
It stretches the pectoral muscles and chest area
and surprisingly can often provide relief from numbness and tingling in
the fingers, and for pain in the wrist area.
in an open doorway. Raise your elbows above shoulder height at your
sides to form the letter V, slightly flex your elbows, and place your
palms against either side of the door frame. Exhale and lean your
entire body forward. Repeat, varying the height of your arms.
you all have lots of notice J,
there is a new fee schedule effective February 1 2004. A 1 hour
massage increases to $50, and a 1/2 hour to $30.
can save $5 per massage
off the above prices when you purchase a massage concession card for 5
half or one hour sessions.
orLeave a message on my home phone 273 7092
Phone Rachael on 021 95 95 95 or
The annual Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge www.cyclechallenge.org.nz
is held on the last Saturday in November each year. I'm not riding this
time, but you will find me in the Manukau
City Vets club tent, providing their post ride massage.
If you haven't tried the sport of triathlon before, check out the
Try-a-Tri at Aunt Betty's People's Triathlon www.peoplestri.com.
The series is superbly organised by Frank Clarke, a former top Canadian
international triathlete, and it has events to cater for the beginner
through to the elite. Next race is January 18 at Mission Bay.
Every Monday night at 6pm there is a 5k run or walk from O'Hagans
in Highland Park. Check in at the courtyard from 5.30pm and pick up
a race number, then follow the crowd from outside Placemakers, through
Lloyd Elsmore Park, along Cascades Road and Aviemore Drive and back to the
pub. You'll receive a time for your run and there are some great
spot prizes (you can even win a massage J).
And entry is free!