Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI): Definition, Symptoms and More

What is a Repetitive Stress Injury?

The terminology “repetitive strain injury”(RSI) or “repetitive motion disorder” refers to tissue damage brought on by repeated physical movements, also known as overuse injuries.

These activities, such as typing or manual labour, are frequently tied to the workplace. So if your job requires repetitive movements like that, you may be at risk for RSI!

Numerous conditions fall under the category of repetitive strain injuries, including:

  • tendonitis in hand and wrist

  • carpal tunnel syndrome

  • bursitis

  • tennis elbow

  • trigger finger

Worried that you may have repetitive strain injuries?

Keep reading to learn more about the types of RSI, symptoms, causes and how to avoid an RSI!

Types of Repetitive Strain Injury

Type 1 and Type 2 RSIs are the two categories used to classify repetitive strain injuries.

  • Type 1 RSI is where the symptoms can be categorised as a specific condition, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow.

  • Type 2 RSI, or diffuse RSI, is where the symptoms are not easily categorised. Symptoms may be vague or shifting, with few or no measurable signs, such as swelling or nerve damage.

Causes of Repetitive Stress Injuries

computer users after working long periods with bad posture

A repetitive strain injury can result from any motion or activity that you repeatedly do.

They can happen after repeated exposure of your body to the same strain and stress. Typical causes include:

  • Exercising too vigorously without warming up and cooling down.

  • Working while it is cold.

  • Sitting or standing with poor posture

  • Sports or other activities call for repetitive movements

  • Working with a vibrating tool.

  • Lifting heavy loads

Symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury

exercises can cause further damage

A repetitive strain injury can occur anywhere in the body that experiences long periods of repetitive movement.

However, they most frequently affect your:

  • neck

  • shoulder

  • back

  • knees

  • forearm

  • elbows

  • hand and wrists

Some symptoms of RSI in the affected body part may include:

  • pain

  • stiffness

  • numbness

  • tingling sensation

  • cramping

  • swelling

  • throbbing

  • burning sensation

  • sensitivity to cold or heat

  • difficulty in moving your fingers, particularly your index fingers or thumb

Long-Term Effects of Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive Strain Injuries already cause pain and discomfort on their own. But, if left unchecked, they can cause severe long-term effects.

Due to the cumulative nature of these damages, they might also result in additional conditions like:

  • ganglion cysts

  • nerve compression syndromes

  • stress fractures

  • herniated disks

To avoid this, seek professional help as soon as you experience any symptoms

How To Prevent RSI?

You are probably spending hours a day in front of your personal computer working; repetitive tasks like this can eventually cause a repetitive strain injury.

To avoid that from happening, here are a few tips you can incorporate into your work lifestyle.

  • Adjust your work environment and use a chair that helps you to maintain good posture comfortably

  • Avoid sitting with your legs crossed; make sure you keep your feet flat on the ground.

  • If you make calls a lot, use a headset to reduce strain on your neck, shoulders and arms

What Treatment is Available and Accessible To You?

appropriate treatment

The cause of your repetitive strain injury and the severity of your symptoms will determine how you should be treated. The best course of action is to change or dial back on the activity that caused your injury to stop further harm. Your body will typically mend and repair any damage over time.

Your symptoms ought to be manageable at home using the following tips

  • Rest and avoid the repetitive movement that caused the rsi in the first place. Avoid overusing the part of your body that is injured.

  • Wrap your injuries with a bandage to reduce swelling.

  • Use a cold compress on the affected area for 15 minutes a few times a day

  • Try to elevate your injury above your heart level as often as possible.

Other easily accessible medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen can help ease inflammation and pain. (Contact a healthcare professional before consuming for more than ten days)

Your doctor might also recommend a physical therapist if you need assistance with your posture, strength, or flexibility. If your accident was related to your job, you could also work with an occupational therapist who can help you customise your recovery to get you ready to return to work.

Surgery may be required to heal your injury’s damage to internal organs, but this is uncommon.

Stop Repetitive Strain Injuries From Affecting Your Life with Vitality!

Carrying out repetitive motions for extended periods will eventually take a toll on your physical health.

This may be unavoidable due to the nature of your work or if you play sports.

Instead of waiting for repeated movements to damage your body, visit Vitality Chiropractic Centre to ensure you are keeping your joints and range of motion in check!

If you are already experiencing repetitive stress injury symptoms, fear not, as our team of doctors can help you identify the source and suggest a treatment plan after careful evaluation.

With our help, you will be able to move with ease and comfort!

Contact us today to make your appointment!

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