WHAT IS IT? REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY (RSI)

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is the aches and pain in your body caused by repetitive movements or poor posture while doing certain activities (including work). It's also called occupational overuse injury and overuse syndrome. RSI mainly affects your wrists and hands.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Gradual onset of wrist pain

  • Aggravated by repetitive actions (typing, writing etc)

  • Eased with rest

  • Muscle tension or soreness

  • Stiffness of the neck and wrist

  • Possible pins and needles or numbness

  • Weakness

What Causes It?

  • Poor workstation ergonomics

  • Repetitive use of the mouse, typing, writing, in fact any repetitive work duty

  • Stress

  • Repetitive damage over an extended period of time

How to Self Manage

  • R.I.C.E protocol initially

  • Request an OH&S Work Station assessment

  • Take regular breaks

  • Alternate between varying work duties

  • Medication to reduce pain and inflammation (if not contraindicated)

Prognosis

Changes need to be made to the ergonomics of your work station, and modifications need to be implemented regarding types of duties and the duration spent in one position.  In conjunction with manual therapy, this is the only way to prevent RSI from continuing and likely worsening.

How Physio Helps

  • Assess your wrist

  • Massage

  • Prescribe an exercise program involving stretches and strengthening

  • Ergonomic assessment or work station

  • Posture assessment and advice

  • Pilates to improve posture and stability

  • Advice about splints or aids to reduce the load on your wrist while at work

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