Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is an umbrella term for a group of disorders affecting the muscles, tendons, and nerves. It is caused by repetitive motions, excessive or abnormally distributed biomechanical forces during function, or using extreme movements. Unlike other injuries which occur at a single point in time, RSIs develop over an extended period of time.

Identifying symptoms, causative factors and manifestation of the repetitive strain, lead to the selection of the therapy protocol of choice; this can include acupuncture and life-style counselling.

Symptoms of RSI include:

  • stiff or tight muscles, tendons inflamed within their sheath
  • tingling, numbness and/or coldness
  • loss of coordination, clumsiness, weakness
  • pain, typically in the arms, wrists, hands, neck, upper back and shoulders, but also -less often- in the lower limbs

Causes of RSI include:

  • small rapid movements that are repeated over and over
  • awkward sitting or standing positions
  • holding an awkward, static position
  • using abnormal biomechanics to move heavy loads
  • inadequate rest time, breaks or activity change
  • poor ergonomic design of computer/work stations
  • stress from a fast work pace, role ambiguity, worry, monotonous tasks, and daily life events.

Solutions, prevention and treatments of RSI:

  • adjust your work station, computer and equipment to fit your body
  • take regular breaks before pain or discomfort develop
  • take frequent, short breaks to gently stretch and exercise while breathing consciously
  • alternate duties to prevent strain to particular areas, and alternate between standing, sitting and walking
  • sit in a proper, upright and relaxed positionĀ 
  • consult with your physiotherapist for advice and treatment, including posture re-education.

Remember, early intervention and prevention are the key.