Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive Strain Injuries (also called RSI's) are overuse injuries. Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) is another name used to describe RSI. Overuse injuries occur after doing the same movements over and over again, without giving the body time to recover from the stress of having executed those movements. Most Repetitive Strain Injuries are felt in the upper limb and forearm, as we need to use our arms in order to engage with the world and complete tasks. However, overuse injuries can also be felt in the back and hips, especially when our jobs require repetitive lifting or handling of items in awkward postures, as well as in the knees and feet for those of us who need to work standing up and moving. 


Repetitive Strain Injuries feel different depending on where they occur in the body. Some RSI pain can be dull, deep below the skin and can persist throughout the day. Other RSI pain can be sharp, almost electric pain, and reproducible only in specific circumstances. This variation in symptoms and presentation is due to the unique nature of everyone's anatomy, as well as the ways in which we interact with the world around us. Because of this, it is always worth having the pain investigated, regardless of how long it has been persisting. 


Repetitive Strain Injuries are tricky to manage because the discomfort often occurs as a consequence of everyday activity like working, walking, or even attending to personal care during shower and dress. Additionally, weakness that comes with RSI pain can only be addressed by strengthening the muscles in the affected area. This isn't easy unless the inflammation and pain have already been managed, which means that some patients need to refrain from using their affected limbs and joints until the discomfort has eased, strength has returned, and the limb is ready to work again. 


Management of RSI pain is a process that involves addressing physical, occupational, personal, and lifestyle risk factors to minimise pain and maximise function. The treatment you receive will be tailored to address the specific cause of your Repetitive Strain Injury, and will focus on minimising pain, maximising your ability to move pain free, and developing a plan to minimise the risk of a flare-up in the future. 


At Atlas Physio, we will provide you with education, structured management, and ongoing monitoring of your pain both in and out of the clinic. Contact us to arrange an assessment, and to take the first step on a course of corrective care today.