Repetitive Strain Injuries

Written by Sierra Rein
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Despite today's advanced science and medicinal knowledge, repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are quite common in the modern world. The human body is designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear over time; however, when it is forced to repeat the same motion over and over, it can be irrevocably damaged. Thus, individuals who sit at computer stations for more than a few hours a day, play a musical instrument, pack bags in a supermarket, or work at an assembly line are all in danger of developing at least one RSI in their lifetimes.

The term "RSI" is used to describe a variety of different types of injuries to soft tissue areas, including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and tendonitis. The areas of the body that are usually the most affected by repetitive strain injuries are the wrists, shoulders, hands, back, elbows and neck. Symptoms include stiffness, swelling, numbness, a dull or shooting pain, and sometimes a tingling sensation that travels from a central area to another part of the body.

The key to treating these injuries is to recognize the onset of damage early on and to take preventative measures before they get any worse. A soon as the pain is noticed, the area must be put to rest and the repetitive motion halted for a time being. It is essential that a doctor be consulted and x-rays taken to assess the extent of the damage and to provide the paperwork necessary to process any workplace insurance claims.

Ways to Treat Repetitive Stress Injuries

Treatment of RSIs usually involves the employment of strengthening exercises and wearing supportive braces designed to minimize the stress and strain of the repetitive motion. Heat and rest is also very effective, especially if the injury is extreme in nature and demands a long period of healing. Never perform any treatments on your own without a trip to a health and physical therapist, as they may make the pain worse over occasion.

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