Repetitive Strain Injury/neck/shoulder/arm


In looking back at this email to you, its been 5  years now, and I am STILL suffering from the same pain as I was when I  posed a question to you about, which you said was rep strain injury.
Dont forget MRI showed shoulder impingement with a bone spur and a few small tears.
The neck MRI showed some arthritis, bone spur and stenosis.
The dr. says I have two seperate problems going on here...but I DONT believe him, cause if I did...why is all the pain with neck movement backwards, in the SAME shoulder with the impingement, bone spur and few small tears.
Please Julie, can you shed some light on this?
I mean, 5 years and I am STILL in pain..actually it gets worse.
The dr. was so arrogant and talked down to me that I dont want to go back to him, regardless of weather this is workmen comp or not.

Hi Arlene,

It's terrible that you're still in pain!  I wish I was in NY and could see you myself, and while I come to NY several times a year, I'm actually in Florida.

So, let's think about this problem.  I imagine you went to when you wrote the last time?  If not, wait a few weeks and go to it again because I'm just changing it now and it's not updated yet. There will be a section about the neck and shoulder that could be interesting to you as it explains the muscles that impact this area.  I don't know what your doctor sees that makes him/her think that these are two unrelated problems, so maybe I'm missing something.  The muscles of the shoulder all have an impact on the neck, so it seems they would have something to do with each other. Muscles don't tear on their own unless there is trauma that causes the tear, or the muscle becomes so shortened that it is pulling hard on the two insertion points (on the bones) and that causes the fibers to tear.

As for the spur, I have worked with many thousands of people over the last 25 years and it is common for a spur to form when the muscle tendon is pulling hard on the insertion point and trying to pull the tendon away from the bone. The body sends bone cells to the insertion point and it builds up to become a spur. When the muscle tension is released the pressure is taken off the spur and it stops hurting, even though it doesn't normally go away.

Many of the people I've worked with over the years have arthritis. Remember that muscle tendons always insert at a joint, which is how we move that joint. I have found that releasing the tension in the muscle that is inserting into joint will lessen the pain a lot.  In fact, for some people the pain goes away completely because it was actually the tight muscle pulling on the joint that was causing the pain, the arthritis wasn't the source of the pain.  I wish I could assure you that this would happen to you, but I can't, however it's definitely worth the effort to release the muscle tension and check it out.

You'll get more information when you look at the website in 2-3 weeks, but for now if you'd like to see the muscles involved, and how they move your arm/shoulder, go to and do a search for: Levator Scapulae, Trapezius, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and Teres Major.  There are other muscles that could be involved, for example: Pectoralis Minor, Latissimus Dorsi, Supraspinatus, and Pectoralis Major, but it would be too confusing to try to explain how they could cause your pain.

That doctor should be ashamed. Nobody should ever talk down to you, there is no excuse for that, so maybe you could find another doctor?  If you can, I suggest you look for an Osteopathic physician (initials are "D.O.") as they study the entire body so they are well-rounded and look beyond where most doctors explore for the source of pain.

I hope that helps you.

Wishing you well,
    Julie Donnelly

Repetitive Strain Injury

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Julie Donnelly, LMT


I can accept questions that relate to chronic or acute pain caused by muscle spasms and contractions. Repetitive Strain Injury is actually Cumulative Trauma to muscles. Releasing the spasm &/or contraction will relieve the strain that is felt at the insertion point on the bone. I am the co-developer of the unique safe-stretching program "Focused Flexibility Training," which combines easy instruction for self-treating spasms throughout your body with proven yoga stretches. I have recently authored two new books: "The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution," and "The Secret to Your Best Golf Game EVER!


Since 1989 I have been working with endurance athletes and individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions. I have authored seven self-treatment books and three self-treatment DVDs and I have developed the Julstro System for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, Trigger Finger, and other Hand/Wrist pain. I am a national and international presenter at conventions, seminars, and workshops. Principle topics are "Work Shouldn't Hurt," and "The Pain Free Athlete." In 2005 and 2006 I was the massage therapist for ultracyclists competing in the Race Across America (RAAM) 3000+ mile race from San Diego, CA to Atlantic City, NJ. I've taught the Julstro techniques to physical therapists at the Cleveland Clinic, to massage therapists in areas around the USA, and I've taught Julstro self-treatment clinics to dancers at Juilliard School of Performing Arts (NYC),the sprinting team at NC State, and I am working closely with several Olympic-hopeful. We have successfully eliminated the repetitive strain injuries that could keep them out of the Olympic Games, and the best part is they know how to do the self-treatments so they can stay pain-free and flexible.

Triathlete Magazine, Endurance Magazine, multiple national and international trade journals.

Swedish Institute of Allied Health, NY, NY - Initial education in massage therapy Licensed NYS Massage Therapist since 1989. SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY - B.Sc. degree in Interdisciplinary Health Education I was an Associate Professor helping to develop the massage training program for SUNY Rockland Community College

Past/Present Clients
Privacy prevents me from filling in this section without prior consent from my clients. Life Experience: I have been specializing in the treatment of chronic pain and sports injuries since receiving my NY massage license in 1989. A personal bout with carpal tunnel syndrome was the catalyst to my developing a self-treatment that heals the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome quickly and without surgery. My work with endurance athletes was the inspiration to teach people how to self-treat so they could stop pains even during a race or heavy training day. Both of these situations ultimately became the products that are sold on my websites: and I currently treat people in my offices in Sarasota, FL, Cary, NC, or Pearl River, NY

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