Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI is a sort of injury to the musculoskeletal and nervous system which is caused by vibrations, repetitive tasks, mechanical compression, forcible extortion, and many more.
It is the strain connected to certain actions that are repeated frequently and may cause severe pain in the arms, back, neck, shoulders, and thumbs.
Carrying heavy loads, going through injuries, sitting in the wrong procedure, or sleeping in a bad position are considered some of the common reasons for Repetitive Strain Injury.
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What is Repetitive Strain Injury?
Repetitive Strain Injury is described as a Cumulative Trauma Disorder that stems from prolonged forceful, repetitive, or any other odd hand movements.
It is a range of painful situations in the tendons, soft tissues, and muscles.
Usually, it is related to the occupation or task and even leisure activities. It can affect the person as per the performance of work.
What Are Its Causes?
It has been seen that people working on the computer for long hours generally suffer from this type of problem.
You may wonder how apparently mild activities like mouse clicking and typing on a keyword could be harmful.
Well, fine movements of hands that are repeated every hour, every day, and thousands of times strain the tendons and muscles of the wrists, forearms, and fingers, sourcing microscopic tears.
Due to this, muscles and tendons become inflamed and begin to touch the neighboring nerves, which results in a tingling sensation, numbness, or hypersensitivity to handle anything.
Unless this situation is interrupted, it repeats again and again in the long term, which results in chronic issues.
Mostly, Repetitive Strain Injury affects more areas other than the hands and wrists. Poor posture and back injuries lead to RSI, and staring at the screen of a Laptop or Desktop leads to eyestrain.
Rhythmic reach for the mouse leads to neck and arm sprain as well as spinal asymmetry.
Certain things that are considered to enhance the risk include:
- Repetitive activities
- Performing a high-strength activity for a long time without taking any rest
- Poor positions in performing work lead to stress and pain
- Overuse of vibrating equipment
- Performing forceful activities
- Carrying extra weight or heavy loads
- Working in a chilled weather
- Increased stress mentally worsens the condition
- Direct stress on particular areas like the neck and back
- Working in a non-ergonomically designed area
What Are the Symptoms?
The major symptoms of repetitive strain injury in hand due to regular computer work include feeling pain and tightness in the arms, dull ache and numbness in fingers, and throbbing and Tingling feelings.
Symptoms of repetitive strain injury in the shoulders and neck region include stiffness and pain in the neck.
These symptoms have a tendency to develop gradually. However, with proper rest, one can get relief in the initial stages.
Besides the above, other symptoms and related problems may lead to severe conditions if not tackled. These include:
- DeQuervain’s syndrome
- Diffuse Repetitive Strain injury
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Gamekeeper’s thumb
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Raynauds disease
- Ganglion symptoms that restrict the movement
How to Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury?
The best treatment for RSI is to control the wrong postures, heavy work, and long-term task that enhances pain in the body.
The below list presents methods to follow which ensure that you are repetitive stress injury-free:
- Taking regular breaks from the task, if your work is next to the laptop or desktop, it is useful to set the alarm as a reminder to take short and simple breaks.
- Remember to stand up, perform a simple exercise, and stretch frequently. Also, extend your arms, stand erect, and stretch your fingers.
- Occasionally give a break to your vision. If it is the incessant view on the screen, give a break to rest the eyes and relax them for a while before returning back to work.
- Maintain health with a proper diet and exercise that keeps your body flexible. Avoid smoking as this reduces the flow of blood in the body and muscles.
- Check your sitting position as your arms need to be comfortable, the wrist needs to be straight, and the hands in good flow if you are typing on the keyboard.
The first and foremost thing while getting the RSI treatment is to understand the cause of the problem, know it, and then follow the right procedure to get cured.
This acts as a miracle on your body and gives you what it needs with a capacity to heal without any medicine or therapy.
If the pain is severe, consult your physician or specialist to recognize the issue and deal with it in a better way to get the best results.
Experts recommend getting group health insurance for employee benefits that can be of great help for people working in IT industries and on computers.
Below are a few conservative treatment methods to follow for curing RSI:
Rest the particular affected area is the first recommendation, and avoid any further stress on the affected area.
To some extent, it is not possible, but the practice of doing less work and relaxing for the required time reduces the pain in muscles and lets you cure the disorder at a faster pace.
Analgesics and Splinting help the symptoms for a certain time. But the real symptoms need to be treated for long-term success and to feel good health.
Vitamin B6 therapy is a good way to cure the symptoms as it helps to cure the damaged nerve, though it does not correct the real cause of the muscle imbalance.
It is good to follow an anti-inflammatory medicine and reduce the swelling to feel relief from the median nerve and correct the dysfunction.
Furthermore, erase everything from the mind about the RSI and any injured tissue problem. This acts on your mind psychologically to treat the problem fast.
Overall, we can say that if you maintain breaks and relax your body frequently, you can easily avoid the injury problem. This also helps you to be more productive and be in good health as well.