What is repetitive strain injury?

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is an umbrella term which covers any pain originating from tendons, muscles, nerves and/or joints as a result of overuse or repetitive movements.  The most common areas affected by repetitive strain injury are the wrists and hands but your elbows, neck and shoulders may also be painful.

What are the symptoms of repetitive strain injury?

Symptoms may vary between individuals but common complaints include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Pins and needles or numbness

Repetitive strain injury is usually associated with doing a particular activity repeatedly or for a long period of time. It often occurs in people who work with computers or carry out repetitive manual work for example secretarial workers, nursing staff, postman and call centre workers.

Repetitive strain injury causes

  • doing a high-intensity activity for a long time without rest
  • poor posture or activities that require you to work in an awkward position for example twisting at your desk to reach the computer or a poorly positioned/height desk and chair
  • stress

There are two types of repetitive strain injury.  The first, type 1, involves pain from a particular medical condition such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome.  Type 2 on the other hand includes less specific pain which may not have a clear structural cause.

How can physiotherapy help you?

It is important to highlight any symptoms sooner rather than later, before they develop into a more chronic stage.  At Lilliput Health, our expert Poole and Bournemouth based physiotherapists will work with you to identify any risk factors or repetitive movements that may be causing your problems, looking for practical ways that you can modify or avoid these actions.

Your physiotherapist will be able to give you specific advice on whether heat or ice may be beneficial as well as sometimes recommending particular braces or supports to relieve your symptoms.  As with any other condition, your treatment will be specific to the problems that you are having and after thorough examination and discussion with you, any of the following may be offered: Soft tissue release, joint mobilisations and manipulations, acupuncture, postural re-education, taping, strengthening work and stretches.

At your request we can also provide written advice or reports to employers and your GP, ensuring good communication at every level.  We understand that work related injuries can be stressful and will endeavour to support you through your journey to full recovery.

Lilliput Health is also able to provide work place and occupational health assessments if required.

For further enquires, or if you, or any of your workforce are affected by repetitive strain injury, contact us on 01202 725090 or email us at info@lilliputhealth.co.uk