The Cinderella Hypothesis postulates that damage to the muscles can occur when the muscle fibers which are activated first are also the last to deactivate. Like Cinderella, they are always working, and not given adequate amounts of time to recover. These damaged muscle fibers can be a source of pain.
Low intensity, continuous activation of the fibers can be initiated consciously, for example while typing, or subconsciously, due to tension. Some studies have found that damage to the muscles can occur in as little as 30 minutes during continuous typing.
Though continuous activation without release does not happen for all patients during low intensity, sustained activity, the Cinderella Hypothesis presents a compelling case for taking breaks throughout the work day to participate in some brief stretching, which may help relax and lengthen the muscles.
Filed under: pain management
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