They go by many names--tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, forearm tendinitis--but these injuries all have a common origin: our work and play. Whether it's computer programming, carpentry, food service, or bookkeeping, many jobs today require people to hunch over into unnatural positions and then perform the same tiny movements over and over again throughout a workday. And the sports we pursue often aren't much better--tennis, golf, and racquetball all involve repeated elbow- and back-straining movements.
The solution, author Timothy Jameson says, is not to exclude any potential treatment: medication, physical therapy, massage, chiropractic care, or acupuncture. A problem like carpal tunnel syndrome could be rooted in multiple factors--occupation, weight, stress, disease (including diabetes), previous injuries--and, chances are, no one discipline can find and treat all of them. Jameson also recommends making dietary changes, shifting to a Zone-type diet of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat, mostly from unsaturated or polyunsaturated sources.
Repetitive Strain Injuries is about as user-friendly and complete a book as one can imagine. For example, early in the book, Jameson includes anatomical charts pinpointing areas of pain or abnormal sensations, and shows which chapters to turn to for information about them. Also helpful is the menu of alternative treatments, from chiropractic care to lesser-known movement techniques such as Feldenkrais, and biofeedback and guided imagery. --Lou Schuler
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