RSI- Repetitive Strain Injury

How physiotherapists help Repetitive Strain Injury- by Jolene Sher

In September 2015, Our Clinical Manager, Jolene Sher lectured to the RSI Action group in London.  Below is a summary of Jolene’s presentation to the group, including simple exercises to alleviate and prevent RSI trouble in the hand, wrist and arm.

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View our RSI Prevention Programme Here

 What is RSI?

  • It usually presents as pain and/or injury. This would be anywhere in the neuro-muscular-skeletal system (your muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and nerves).
  • Most likely resulting from overuse and repetition of certain activities.
  • It is common in people who have desk based jobs and do repetitive manual jobs.
  • It mainly affects the upper limbs (shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists and fingers) and neck/ upper back.
  • It can manifest as pain, muscle spasm, tingling/ burning/ numbness/strange sensations, cramps, heaviness, weakness etc.
  • NB- Each individual has unique and different presentation depending on all the factors involved eg acute/ actual tissue injury versus hypersensitive nervous system/chronic pain. People can be one or the other or a combination of both.

 How do Physios assess RSI

  • Identify problem areas needing attention physically eg pain, weakness, muscle spasm, loss of movement, tingling/ numbness etc.
  • Assess set up at work/ ergonomics
  • Assess lifestyle (eg activity levels, hobbies etc).
  • Posture and core stability.
  • Identify psycho-social factors eg stress, social pressures eg.

    How to prevent RSI

    How to prevent RSI

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Check out what you can do to prevent RSI here

Physio treatment involved

  • NB identifying what YOUR specific problems are (via a thorough assessment as above) is the main key for treatment. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.
  • Traditional Physio techniques eg manual release, taping, dry needling/acupuncture, electrotherapy etc
  • NB Ergonomic/ work station advice. Changes to routine eg breaks. Specific to each individual.
  • Exercise therapy – Strength, posture and core, conditioning and fitness.
  • Advice to relieve stress and psycho-social pressures.

If you would like to discuss your Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) or Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD) with one of our expert physiotherapists please call us on 020 82017788.

Physiotherapy Appointments are available 8am to 9pm at one of our 3 physiotherapy clinics in London- Hendon NW4 ; East Finchley N2 and Hampstead NW3.