Understanding Continuous Stationary Workload Injury
We all have felt at some point or the other pains next to the joints or at the points of Muscle insertion due to reparative movement undertaken for a prolonged period of time causing stress, tenderness, inflammation and finally the injury to the part.
The pain in the legs after running more than the usual capability or pain after sports or any activity requiring same continuous movement are some example of muscle inflammation or injury due to overburdening them with repetitive movements. This kind of injury is called Repetitive Movement Injury. Tendinitis, Tennis elbow, ITBs are some of the examples or such conditions.
At any given point of continuous movements of any particular muscles or group of muscles the body sends out signals in various ways to inform us to give a halt to the activity that we are performing. This kind of injuries can be avoided if we listen to the body.
Activities like Yoga have so much benefit as there is variation in movement allowing different set of tissues to work and get worked upon. Unless one pushes into too many repetitions and overburdening than the capability there hardly possibilities of injuries. On the other hand, any contractions in the body are released
Let’s now come to something that we can call as Continuous Stationary Workload Injury
When we are stationary like sitting, standing or even lying down sideways there are set of muscles that are working to hold you in that position. The muscles are not creating a movement but are actually holding or remaining in a contracted state to not allow a movement to happen.
Example when you are sitting the quadratus lamborum are holding you not to fall sideways, the erector spinae are holding you not to fall forward and rectus abdominus are holding you not to fall backwards.
This means when you stay in a position for prolonged duration then these muscles are continuously in a state of contracted holding (Isometric contraction). Though they are not moving but they are still working and undergoing the movement induced stress and strain similar to repetitive movement strain. Over a long period of time such a repetitive situation creates a permanent contraction in the muscles that have been used to hold that position.
This kind of contraction arising out of continuous holding one pose over a period of time causing strain, stress and then pain is given a new term called as Continuous Stationary Workload Injury.
This is the tightness that can be felt in the back muscles of people who have desktop jobs involving long hours of sitting. Or in the muscles of hand holding a mouse over the hours without much change in movement.
As a massage therapist this is one situation that can be very effectively worked upon. Any tissue lengthening techniques will bring the muscles back to their original state over a period of time. But the effect is achieved with patience and repeated sessions.