Understanding And Dealing With Repetitive Strain Injuries


Overview of RSI

RSI stands for repetitive strain injury, and this kind of injury occurs when any part of the body is overused. Although the musculoskeletal system is designed to be strong and durable, too much pressure or constant strain can wear down your limbs and tendons. In a weakened state, the affected area becomes vulnerable to inflammation and damage. Carpal tunnel is among the injuries that can stem from the repetitive injury syndrome.

Common Symptoms

Soreness is one of the main symptoms that you will experience. A tingling sensation or discomfort may also develop in the affected area. When you engage in an activity for a period of time, you may even experience a burning or shooting pain.

If you take a break from the activity, you may continue to feel clumsy or numb. The symptoms may subside within hours or a few days. Unfortunately, RSI is easy to aggravate, so it’s advisable to seek professional help when you first notice the symptoms.

Other symptoms include:

  •  Tenderness
  •  Stiffness
  •  Redness
  •  Feebleness
  •  Fatigue

What Causes RSI?

There are many possible factors that play a role. The problem could be the way you exercise. Doing too many repetitions without taking a break can lead to a repetitive strain injury. This is also true if you often use equipment in the wrong way.

If you like to work fast on a regular basis, you may be at risk because the speedy movements will deplete your energy faster, and your body will be more exhausted. RSI can also develop if you have a tendency to:

  • Hold your muscles
  • Work in cold conditions
  • Perform the same tasks repeatedly

What can be Affected by RSI?

The repetitive injury syndrome brings on inflammation, stress and trauma. Whether the injury is in the upper or lower extremities, everything from the muscles and tendons to the nerves and joints can be impacted and damaged.

What Happens to the Injured Limb or Area?

With sufficient rest, the injured limb or area will slowly heal and get stronger in a progressive manner. On the other hand, if you continue to use the extremity or put pressure on the injury, your actions will cause further damage, which may lead to a chronic problem. When a body part loses its strength, it becomes sensitive, sore and painful to touch.

The more the nerves are compressed, the stronger the tingling sensation will become. Over time, your joints will also become stiff, and your posture will be affected.

What are Some Treatments for RSI?

If you have an acute injury, it will be easier to assess. Your doctor will be able to use ESWT and other healing techniques to put you on the road to recovery. However, if the injury is characterized as chronic, your doctor’s efforts and ESWT will likely produce slower results because the injury will be less responsive to treatment. In addition to extracorporeal shockwave therapy, dynamic neuromuscular rehabilitation is found to be effective in treating RSI.

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