Accessibility Tools
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

Repetitive strain injuries (RSI), also known as repetitive stress injuries, are often caused by overuse of the hands, wrists, arms, neck, or shoulders. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to visit an orthopaedic specialist to find out if you have an RSI. This blog post will discuss the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and how to prevent repetitive strain injuries.

Cause of RSI

RSIs are often caused by overuse of the hands, wrists, arms, neck, or shoulders. As you continue to do repetitive motions, it begins to break down your muscles, tendons, and nerves. Activities that can cause RSI include typing, writing, using a computer mouse, sewing, knitting, working on an assembly line, sports training, and carpentry. Some specific actions that tend to increase your risk of developing RSI:

  • using the same muscles over and over
  • maintaining the same posture for a long time
  • having an abnormal posture
  • lifting heavy objects
  • being in poor physical shape

Symptoms of RSI

Symptoms of RSI can vary from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. The pain can be localized or it can spread through the affected areas. Here are the most common symptoms are:

  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling
  • Throbbing
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Sensitivity to cold or heat

Some common RSIs are:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Tennis elbow

Treatment of RSI

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for RSIs, but there are a few general steps that can be taken to help relieve the symptoms. The first step is to rest the injured area. This means avoiding any activities that cause pain and taking a break from any tasks that involve the affected muscles. Physical therapy can also be helpful in restoring strength and mobility to the injured area. Surgery may be required if the injury is severe. Some treatment options include:

  • RICE - rest, ice, compression, and elevation
  • Physical therapy exercises and stretches
  • Wearing a brace or splint
  • Anti-inflammatory or steroid injections
  • Surgery if necessary

Prevention of RSI

There are a few things you can do to help prevent RSIs from developing. First, make sure you take regular breaks from any activities that involve repetitive motions. Stretch the muscles in the affected area and switch up your activities to give your body a break. Maintaining good posture is also important, as is maintaining a healthy weight. If you are overweight, carrying around extra pounds can put stress on your muscles and joints, increasing your risk of developing an RSI. Finally, make sure you have the correct equipment for the tasks you are performing. For example, if you are typing, make sure your keyboard is at the correct height and that your chair supports your back. If you are working on an assembly line, make sure the tools you are using are the correct size and weight. Taking these precautions can help reduce the risk of developing an RSI.

Closing Thoughts

RSIs are a common problem, but they can be treated effectively with the right steps. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to see a doctor right away to find out if you have an RSI. There are a variety of treatment options available, so don't hesitate to seek help. Our orthopaedic doctors and physical therapists are ready to assist you and get you back to your normal self. To schedule an appointment at Prairie Orthopaedic & Plastic Surgery in Lincoln, NE, please call Repetitive Stress Injury, Cleveland Clinic

Everything You Should Know About Repetitive Strain Injury,Healthline