Repetitive 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.
These are the 3 major risk factors that can cause RSI:
- Poor posture
- Poor technique
If you are affected, you may experience:
- Numbness or tingling sensation
- Lack of control
- Cold, shiny, dry palm
- Increased pain at night
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.