By definition repetitive strain injuries implies “An injury of the musculoskeletal and nervous system that may be caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression or sustained and awkward postures”. It can often be an injury that has a slow and insidious onset so much so that we don’t recognise the early signs in its development. Here are some tips on what to watch for in the varying stages of repetitive strain injuries and some ideas on preventing the onset of same.
The term Repetitive Strain Injury implies repeated trauma to a body tissue. Repetitive trauma often is not involved in the injury and so RSI is now often referred to as Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders
As our work has become more and more automated our work postures have become more sedentary. We are spending increasingly more time in sitting postures. The computer is playing an extensive role in our work but also our home environment. As a result of this there is an accumulation of musculoskeletal strain at a greater rate than the individual’s recovery capacity. This imbalance is leading to increased fatigue in the soft tissues which subsequently causes increase in inflammation and then pain.
Causes of RSI/WRMSD include poor postures, overuse of muscles and tendons and muscle fatigue. Those groups most at risk of developing RSI are computer users, laboratory workers, musicians and health professionals.