Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI is a range of painful or uncomfortable conditions of the muscles, tendons, nerves and other soft tissues, usually caused by repetitive use of a certain body part, often in the upper limbs. RSI is typically related to an occupational strain, but may also be linked to certain leisure activities.
What are the signs and symptoms of RSI?
Signs and symptoms vary, depending on which part of the body is affected, and what caused the problem in the first place.
Initially, symptoms may only occur when you are doing the repetitive task and slowly fade when you rest. Eventually, though, symptoms may be present all the time, and worsen during the repetitive task, if left untreated.
The most common RSI signs and symptoms include:
- tenderness in the affected muscle or joint
- pain in the affected muscle or joint
- throbbing sensation in the affected area
- pins and needles (tingling) in the affected area, especially the hand or arm
- loss of sensation in the hand
- loss of strength in the hand
Early treatment is much more likely to prevent any irreversible damage.
What causes RSI?
When a movement is repeated over and over, the body tissues become overused and begin to break down leading to a build-up of inflammation. The most common cause of RSI today is overuse due to occupational strain, and the biggest culprit of all is the computer keyboard. Other contributing factors include:
- overuse of muscles on a continued, repetitive basis
- cold temperatures
- vibrating equipment
- forceful activities
- poor posture or a badly organised work area
- prolonged periods of work without a break
How can osteopathy help with RSI?
Osteopaths are trained to determine which tissue is responsible for your pain. They have the appropriate skills and knowledge to assess your complaint and decide on the most effective course of action.
Osteopathic management may involve:
- gentle manual therapy to ensure affected muscles and joints are moving correctly
- assistance in achieving and maintaining good posture
- providing ergonomic advice for your work and home environments
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of RSI, don’t delay. Call St Kilda Osteopathy and let us help you.