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What to Know About Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive Strain InjuryRepetitive strain injury (RSI) is a condition that develops as a result of engaging in prolonged repetitive tasks such as lifting, typing or writing. Such repetitive activities in-turn affect the muscles, nerves, joints, tendons and tendon sheaths and cause persisting pain on your shoulders, neck, hands, wrists, forearms, elbows and limbs. RSI is generally known by a variety of names including overuse injury, repetitive injury, cervio-brachial disorder, repetitive motion injury, repetitive trauma, occupational musculoskeletal disorder and cumulative trauma disorder.

It is difficult to classify this condition as there are a variety of causes for it. Long back, RSI was known as a sport-related condition. But these days, this is also common among different work groups ranging from maintenance workers to typists.

Contributing Factors

These are the 3 major risk factors that can cause RSI:

  • Poor posture
  • Poor technique
  • Overuse


If you are affected, you may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Weakness
  • Clumsiness
  • Lack of control
  • Cold, shiny, dry palm
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Increased pain at night
  • Swelling

Who Are at Risk?

The above mentioned are most commonly seen among those who:

  • Don’t take enough break during work
  • Have loose joints
  • Lack regular exercise
  • Lack proper sleep
  • Have medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes
  • Lead an unhealthy lifestyle

How to Reduce Risks of RSI

Repetitive strain injuries may take months or even years to develop. Therefore, prevention is always better than cure. Here are a few useful suggestions to prevent RSI:

  • Maintain good posture while at work
  • Use proper techniques for typing, writing, lifting and related tasks
  • Try stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Take regular breaks during work
  • Maintain an ergonomically designed workstation to reduce strain
  • Seek medical help if your condition gets worse

Always make sure to get help from a competent physician or therapist in the field for better results. A good therapist or physician formulates an ideal treatment plan after a comprehensive physical examination of the patient and proper diagnosis.

Click here to learn more about this condition.

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