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Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

What is it?

Repetitive strain is a common workplace injury which results from overuse of the wrist.


Common Signs and Symptoms

  • Gradual onset of wrist pain

  • Aggravated by repetitive actions (typing, writing etc)

  • Eased with rest

  • Muscle tension or soreness

  • Stiffness of the neck and wrist

  • Possible pins and needles or numbness

  • Weakness of the hand and wrist


What causes it?

  • Poor workstation ergonomics

  • Repetitive use of the mouse, typing, writing, in fact any repetitive work duty

  • Stress


How can I self-manage it?

  • Implement R.I.C.E.R. protocol

  • Request an OH&S Work Station assessment

  • Take regular breaks

  • Alternate between varying work duties

  • Medication to reduce pain and inflammation (if not contraindicated)


What your physiotherapist can do to help

  • Assess your wrist to confirm R.S.I.

  • Massage tight forearm and thumb muscles

  • Prescribe an exercise program involving stretches and strengthening

  • Ergonomic assessment of work station

  • Posture assessment and advice

  • Pilates to improve posture and stability

  • Advice about splints or aids to reduce the load on your wrist while at work


Further Management

Changes need to be made to the ergonomics of your working environment, and modifications need to be implemented regarding types of duties and the duration spent in one position.  In conjunction with manual therapy, this is the only way to prevent RSI from continuing and likely worsening.

Shoulder Treatment
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