Repetitive strain injury is a very common type of ailment that many people suffer from with thousands of new cases being diagnosed every year. Indeed it is one of the most common workplace-related conditions that can cause people to take time off work or even leave altogether. It is mainly caused by, as the name suggests, repetitive motions or actions and this can cause widespread effects on the affected area, as well as mental health too as depression can often be linked to the symptoms of the condition and the effect it has. We are going to look at some of the key questions and answers surrounding this condition.
What Is RSI?
Many people ask the question ‘what is repetitive strain injury’ every day and in its most basic form, it is pain, inflammation, and stiffness associated with the consistent movement. So for instance, if you work in an office and you type regularly then you can get symptoms of RSI in your hands, fingers, and wrists. Because you are doing the same actions day in day out such as typing or using a computer mouse, then these motions can have a damaging effect on your muscles and joints.
We can split repetitive strain injury into two categories:
1. RSI 1 consists of specific types of the condition such as Carpal tunnel syndrome, Tenosynovitis or Tendonitis.
2. RSI 2 (or non-specific pain syndrome sometimes called diffuse RSI) does not fall into any particular category that we mentioned above and can be characterized by pain without swelling or inflammation in the affected area.
In fact, the vast majority of cases come from having repetitive strain injury from work.
Repetitive Strain Injury Symptoms
We touched on this above; however, RSI symptoms can vary widely from person to person. It really depends on the repetitive action that you are carrying out in regards to the symptoms of RSI. For instance, you could have stiffness and pain in your neck from sitting crouched over for long periods of time at your office desk or you could have pains and weakness in your elbows and shoulders from lifting heavy objects all day in a factory. If you find that certain parts of your body (hands, shoulders, legs, and joints) are suffering from repeated complaints and symptoms such as stiffness, cramps, pain, and weakness then this could be a sign of RSI.
For some occupations, it can be very difficult to prevent repetitive strain injury from occurring in the first place. However, you can take steps which can significantly help with reducing either the chances of it developing or help to ease the symptoms if it does develop. For example, if you work at a computer all day then it is a good idea to take short breaks every now and again. This is especially true if you are typing all day at the computer and even a 5 minute break every 45 or 60 minutes can really help to alleviate symptoms or the chances of repetitive strain injury occurring. RSI is an incredibly painful and frustrating condition however by following some simple advice the chances of suffering from it can be greatly reduced.