Since the Industrial Age, the condition which is presently called repetitive stress injury (RSI) has been recognized by the medical community. RSIs are health conditions associated with repetitive activities, or motions, which place too much stress on a person’s joint, pulling on the muscles and tendons around the joint. When such a stress occurs repeatedly, the body can not cope and does not have time to recover, resulting in irritation.
Common activities that may result to RSI are repetitive motions from heavy computer use, playing electronic games, texting, playing musical instruments, operating production machines, or playing sports characterized by repetitive motions like tennis.
Symptoms of RSI
Since there are incredibly varied causes of RSI, it follows that there is also a huge number of symptoms. The most common symptoms include:
- Pain in the muscle and joint – The pain is an indication of progressive muscle and nerve damage.
- Tenderness in the muscle or joint affected
- Throbbing or pulsating sensation in the area affected
- Tingling sensation especially in the arm or hand
- Stiffness in the neck
- Excessive fatigue
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of strength
General Causes of RSI
The general causes that are most likely to induce RSI are:
- Overuse of a specific muscle or group of muscles
- Having the same posture for a long period of time
- Working with vibrating equipment
- Working in cold temperatures
- Poor posture or bad workspace design
- Forceful activities
- Carrying heavy objects
- Direct pressure to specific area of the body
- Increased psychological stress
- High fatigue level
Based on the identified general causes of RSI, these tips when followed should help prevent the conditions that induce RSI:
- Take regular breaks when your work involves doing repetitive motions. Stand up, walk, and do simple stretching exercises.
- Vary your work activities when you can to avoid doing the same physical routine over and over.
- Observe proper posture all the time. Do not slouch. Stand erect. Sit with your back rested and feet flat on the floor.
- Use ergonomically designed furniture in the workplace and at home. Invest in chairs, tables and other facilities that promote proper posture and are conducive to work.
- Learn shortcut techniques in working with computer applications to avoid too much strain on your fingers, hands and arms.
- Use a telephone headset when talking on the telephone for a long time. Do not cradle the phone on your shoulder.
- Maintain an appropriate office temperature.
- Avoid too much fatigue and stress.
The potential risk of RSI may be present and are likely to stay. Be always aware about it and its adverse effects on your health. Make serious efforts to prevent it to from making a negative impact in your work life and life in general.