What is RSI?
RSI refers to pain felt in muscles or tendons from repetitive movements, over use or poor work posture. It can affect any part of the upper body e.g. wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck. RSI is common in many occupations and activities but most commonly in those that use their upper body a lot e.g. working at a computer, assembly line, gardening, musical instrument, playing tennis etc.
What are the Symptoms?
RSI has a wide variety of symptoms which are normally most noticeable when performing the activity that causes them. However, when the condition gets worse symptoms maybe constant and prevent you doing normal daily activities.
The most common symptoms are:
- Pain/tenderness in muscle
- Sharp/dull ache
Common RSI Conditions
There are dozens of different RSI conditions… here are just a few of the most common ones you might have heard of: Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, wrist, shoulder or elbow tendonitis or bursitis ie. tennis elbow, golfers elbow.
The first step is to work out what activity is causing the RSI. If the RSI is due to an activity at work, then you need to speak to your employer or occupational health representative, as it might be possible to alter your work station. It’s important to take regular breaks to stretch and move the affected area, as well as making sure you maintain good posture. Regular exercise and the use of ice packs can also help relieve the symptoms of RSI. Your doctor might prescribe some anti-inflammatories, pain killer, muscle relaxants or antidepressants, depending on your level of pain.
How can The Back and Body Clinic help?
Our Physiotherapists and Osteopaths are highly trained in dealing with RSI and get lots of great result with treatment. Our practitioners will ask you some questions to help identify what is causing the RSI. It is so important that they address both the symptoms, but also the underlying cause of the problem. They can provide hands on treatment to release the muscles and make sure all the joints are moving well. They may use massage, manipulation, acupuncture, electrotherapy and taping for example. They can also suggest ways of reducing the strain on the muscle and give advice on exercises and self-help techniques to help speed up your recovery. On occasions, when rarely all the above doesn’t help they might suggest the need for a steroid injection, which can also be carried out at the clinic.
How can you help prevent RSI ?
Make sure your work station is set up specifically for you. Take regular breaks and take time to stretch and move about. Try and avoid repetitive exercises.
It’s better to see a healthcare professional as soon as symptoms appear as the longer it’s left and the worse it gets the harder and longer it takes to recover.