March 22, 2021

Repetitive Strain Injury: Your body is not meant to run on a loop

Repetitive Strain Injury

Are you heading toward repetitive strain injury (RSI) with your habits or lifestyle? RSI is a medical term for damage to tissues caused by repeated physical actions. These actions are often work-related, such as typing or performing manual labor. The pain generally occurs in the upper body.

Modern technology has caused an upswing in cases of RSI. Ergonomic workstations can help, but frequent breaks are really important.

Repetitive Strain InjuryButchers used to be one of the only professions who consistently suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome. Now, according to The American Family Physician, “Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common entrapment neuropathy, affecting approximately 3 to 6 percent of adults in the general population.”

We hope this article provides you with inspiration to make some small changes to your daily life to avoid getting RSI or other body aches and pains that can be avoided. Do you have a job that requires repetitive motion (like listed below) or even hobbies and habits that are contributing to the problem?

Regular chiropractic adjustments will help your body stay strong and in alignment to withstand repetitive activities better. This, paired with taking frequent breaks and varying your routine are the best ways to avoid developing painful RSIs.

“Too Much of a Good Thing!”

Our bodies were not made to do the same thing over and over again. This even includes sitting and sleeping. Repetitive motion over a period of time is hard on the body. People who are bedridden developed atrophied muscles and sores. People who sit too long can get dead butt syndrome. (It’s a real thing.)

Even bodybuilders and athletes know they have to work on all the muscle groups and change up their routines often.

There are many different kinds of RSIs and different ways of treating and preventing them including carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, and tennis elbow.

Here are some things you may not have realized about repetitive strain injury:

  • Modern technological devices have caused more and more cases of RSIs. We spend way too much time on our computers and phones.
  • Repetitive motions in one part of the body can affect the muscles in another part.
  • Psychological stress and monotony can worsen the symptoms.
  • Improved workplace practices and ergonomic workstations can help prevent it.

These everyday activities, if done too much or without taking proper breaks can cause RSIs:

  • using a computer mouse
  • typing
  • playing video games
  • driving
  • training for sports
  • stressing the same muscles through repetition
  • maintaining the same posture for long periods of time
  • maintaining an abnormal posture for an extended period of time, such as holding your arms over your head
  • lifting heavy objects

These types of work-related activities are prone to causing RSIs:

  • cashiersRepetitive Strain Injury
  • construction workers who use power tools
  • assembly line work
  • dental hygienists
  • butchering and cooking
  • nail technicians
  • and giving manicures/pedicures
  • Tattoo artists
  • knitters and sewers
  • artists
  • welders
  • cleaners
  • cooks
  • bus drivers
  • musicians

Signs of Repetitive Strain Injury

Evidence of RSIs typically begin gradually and become constant and more intense. Pain tends to start in the wrists and hands, forearms and elbows, or neck and shoulders. If you ignore early signs you may not notice or be slowed down by it until it becomes really bad or unbearable. But there is no need to get to that point. If left untreated symptoms may limit your ability to perform your usual activities.

Symptoms include:

  • pain, ranging from mild to severe
  • tenderness
  • swelling
  • stiffness
  • tingling or numbness
  • throbbing
  • weakness
  • sensitivity to cold or heat

Repetitive Strain Injury

How to Treat Repetitive Strain Injuries

As stated earlier, it is much easier to treat RSIs by catching them early, through chiropractic care, and by changing habits and taking more breaks. However, if you have pain from an RSI, here are some things you can do:

  • Exercise and stretching (consult a doctor or physical therapist of the best protocol for your specific injuries)
  • Relaxation and stress reduction practices
  • Massage therapy
  • RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), both oral and topical
  • steroid injections
  • wrapping the area or securing it with a splint to protect and rest the muscles and tendons. These are often worn at night when sleeping.

If you would like chiropractic support to help you prevent or reduce RSIs, please make an appointment with us. We see these types of injuries all the time can hopefully provide you some relief while supporting you in making the right changes in your life to live pain-free.

To find more about Dr. Ryan and Dr. Allyson more and their chiropractic practice and philosophy, click here. To make an appointment please call (517) 781-4884