Suffer from Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)? Physio Can Help

Repetitive strain injuries are one of the more common issues dealt with by physiotherapists around the world. RSI injuries arise following repeated movement and overuse of the muscles, nerves and ligaments in the body without allowing sufficient time for recovery.

Some of the more common overuse injuries include:

  • Tendinitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Achilles’ tendinopathy
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfers elbow
  • Trigger finger
  • Shoulder bursitis

The prevalence of RSI’s continue to grow in the western world, with increased time spent working at computers and mobile device usage contributing to their development. The good news is that RSI’s can be managed effectively with the guidance of your physiotherapist, and by making a few lifestyle changes you can minimise the risk of further complications.

How do RSI Injuries Happen?

As an overuse injury, RSI’s occur following repetitive movement and overuse and can affect any movable part of the human body. Tasks such as typing on a keyboard, manual labour, sports and office work can all contribute to the development of an RSI. It is important to allow time to relax, recover, repair and adapt rather than jumping into a new task or exercise routine with gusto. Any repetitive, sustained movement will put increased stress on soft tissues and lead to inflammation. By easing into your new task or routine, the body will begin to adapt to these new demands and muscle strength will improve.

Symptoms of RSI

Due to a wide range of potential causes, symptoms can vary from individual to individual. Those with RSI typically notice the following:

  • Soreness, pain and tenderness in the affected area
  • Tingling or throbbing sensation
  • Loss of sensation
  • Cramping
  • Loss of strength

Symptoms usually worsen during repetitive activities, and typically begin to subside during rest. In the early stages, symptoms may be minor. However, if you fail to make positive changes you run the risk of experiencing chronic injury.

 

How is RSI Treated?

Therapy Services Physio regularly treat patients who have experienced a RSI, and when identified early you stand a good chance of avoiding chronic injury and achieving a successful recovery. Treatment is devised on a case-by-case basis, taking into account your condition and the cause of your RSI. Treatment will typically involve:

  • Postural and body positioning advice
  • Exercise programs aimed at strengthening muscles
  • Active release technique (soft tissues release)
  • Ergonomic improvements to your office workstation
  • Propping or bracing
  • Hot/cold packs to reduce inflammation

 

Start Your Journey to Recovery with Therapy Services Physio Today

RSI’s are common and highly treatable, and with the careful guidance of your physiotherapist you can overcome the pain and inconvenience. Provided the appropriate preventative steps and treatment plan are adhered to, most people recover from an RSI within around six months.

To schedule an appointment at our St. Vincent’s Clinic, call now on (02) 8382 6935. We look forward to seeing you soon.