RSI or Repetitive Strain Injury is used to describe pain in the hands, arms, neck and/or shoulders that is prolonged. RSI is typically used when referring soft tissue injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a common disorder and can be work related. Other disorders classified as Repetitive Strain Injuries include musculoskeletal disorders and cumulative trauma disorders.
The term is used to describe the pain and discomfort that is the result of repetitive activity. For instance, carpel tunnel is often diagnosed in people who spend much of their day typing. RSI results when movable parts of specific limbs are injured. Incorrect posture, bad ergonomics and stress can also be linked to causing repetitive stress injury. The condition typically causes tingling, numbness, stiffness, swelling and weakness. In some cases, it may also cause nerve damage. Patients diagnosed with this disorder most commonly complain of a persistent pain in the neck, back, shoulders or arms.
Repetitive strain injury is not a life-threatening disorder or injury. It can cause pain and disability however. In more extreme cases, it can also lead to permanent disabilities in areas that are affected. Treatments may include over-the-counter pain medications, anti-inflammatory medicines and in some cases, physical therapy for the affected areas.
Studies have been done and are currently ongoing into the causes and treatments for Repetitive Strain Injury. Studies have shown that strength training can often help to reduce the pain of patients. This in turn helped by enhancing the ability of patients to more rapidly activate the injured muscles. In clinical trials, researchers believed that those taking part might have been encouraged to withstand the pain in order to finish the trial, thus helping to improve their overall performance. Overall, clinical trials have shown that strength training reduced the levels of pain in participating patients by more than 50 percent.
Researchers are still looking into strength training and various other exercises for answers on how to more effectively treat repetitive strain injuries in patients. Although not a fatal disease, the pain from these conditions has been known to be life altering in many ways. Those with carpal tunnel syndrome have a difficult time doing their daily work. Other diagnoses of repetitive strain injury include bursitis, tendonitis and white limb.
Studies have shown that taking periodical breaks between working can help to reduce the risks of developing repetitive strain injury. Those working eight hours per day typing or working on computers for instance, are encouraged to take at least fifteen minutes from their keyboards no less than four times in an eight-hour period. Studies have shown that this can help prevent the onset of RSI, as well as provide relief for those patients who have already been diagnosed with this disorder.
Many physicians are now providing information on the various forms of repetitive strain injury and the different ways in which to prevent it. Patients who have repetitive acts, such as typing, are encouraged to speak with their doctor about prevention methods as well as treatment methods if needed.
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