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Repetitive Strain Injury

All You Need to Understand About Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

What is RSI:

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is when your body gets hurt because you do the same movements over and over again, for example typing a lot on a computer or using your phone too much or doing the same exercise over and over again . It can make your muscles and joints hurt, and it often happens in places like your wrists, hands, or shoulders.

Causes of RSI:

The main cause of repetitive strain injury is doing repetitive tasks without giving your body a break.

1. Repetitive Movements:

Doing the same movement  or activity repeatedly.

2. Poor Ergonomics:

Working in an uncomfortable or awkward position that puts stress on your muscles and joints which can cause RSI.

3. Forceful Exertion:

Using excessive force during activities  such as  heavy lifting, which strains muscles and tendons.

4. Lack of Rest and Recovery:

Not taking breaks or allowing enough time for your body to rest or recover during repetitive tasks.

5. Bad Postures:

Holding your body in an awkward or strained position  while working can cause it. 

6. Vibration:

Prolonged exposure to vibrating tools or equipment can lead  to RSI.

7. Cold Temperatures:

Working in a cold environment can reduce blood flow to muscles and increase the risk of RSI.

8. Psychological Stress: 

Stress and tension can lead to muscle tightness and lead to RSI.

Symptoms of RSI:

Some common symptoms of RSI include :

Pain:

Person might feel an ache or pain in the affected area e.g wrist or shoulder.

Stiffness: 

Muscles or  joints might become tight and hard to move comfortably.

Weakness: 

Affected  area might feel weaker, making it harder to do tasks.

Tingling or Numbness:

Person might experience a pins-and-needles sensation or numbness in the arm, hand  or other affected body parts.

Swelling:

Sometimes, the area can become swollen .

Trouble Doing Tasks:

RSI can make it difficult to do activities that were easy before such as computer work , lifting , exercising etc.

Treatment of RSI:

Rest and Breaks:

Give the affected area enough time to heal by taking breaks from the activities that cause pain.

Physical therapy: 

A physical therapist treats RSI by doing pain management and by teaching  you exercises to strengthen your muscles, reduce pain and improve posture . 

Ergonomic Changes:

Adjust your workspace  to reduce strain on the affected area such as  using an ergonomic keyboard or chair.

Braces or Splints:

These supporting devices can stabilise the affected area which helps in healing.

Activity Modification:

Change your habits to reduce the repetitive motions causing the injury. This might involve taking breaks , good  workspace and stress reduction .

Prevention:

Regular exercise:

Perform  exercises that strengthen your joints mainly of the wrist, hand and forearm . 

Stretching:

Do stretches to maintain flexibility, leading to lesser chances of RSI .

Hydration:

Staying hydrated is important for joint health .

Breaks and recovery time: 

Give yourself a break during activities to give your body enough time to rest and recover .

Pay attention to discomfort:

If you feel any  pain, discomfort or tingling sensation , take it as a sign to stop and rest.

Don't ignore symptoms:

If symptoms persist, consult a healthcare professional before they get  worse.

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