RSI is short for Repetitive Strain Injury which is caused by constant repetitive motion. This usually happens in the workplace in tasks such as typing or on a production line. It can only be caused by the same task being constantly repeated without breaks. There isn’t actually a specific test to identify Repetitive Strain Injury so a diagnosis can be hard to perform. RSI is usually determined from its symptoms and how you have been using the limbs suffering.
The symptoms can be felt in your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck or legs. They will be caused by constant repetitive motion. The risk is increased by the amount of pressure exerted. The indications you have developed RSI are pain, aches and tiredness in your limbs after performing a repetitive task.. You may find that you loose some permanent movement in the affected area.
RSI is given stages. Stage 1 is described above. Stage 2 will ordinarily show the same symptoms as Stage 1 but they will usually come on earlier in the task and you will feel them longer after you have finished. If your symptoms continue even when you are resting and not doing the repetitive task you are probably suffering from Stage 3 Repetitive Strain Injury.
RSI is a term used to describe a collection of conditions that can result from repetitive motion. The diagnosis of RSI can be made easier if you are tested positive for one of the following conditions.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common condition of all the injuries under the RSI umbrella. CTS effects the wrist and more directly the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Repetitive motion damages the carpal tunnel which in turn restricts blood flow to to the hand and fingers causing pain and restriction of movement.
- Epicondylitis is a condition that occurs after strain is put on muscles and tendons from overuse. Common examples of this are golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow.
- Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed. The bursa act as a lubricant between muscles, joints and tendons allowing your body to move freely without pain. When unreasonable pressure from repeated movement is exerted in particular on elbows and knees the bursae can become inflamed and swell causing pain and loss of movement.
- Dupuytren’s contracture affects your hands and fingers. It is rare but the symptoms are that your fingers bend in towards the palm of your hand as tissue in your hand hardens and contracts.
- Diffuse RSI is a circumstance when you show some symptoms of RSI but nothing physically can be found wrong with you.
Although these are the symptoms used to diagnose RSI it is recommended you see a doctor for diagnosis. If you work involves repetitive tasks and you have any of the symptoms above a doctor will be able to establish what RSI you may have and the best form of treatment.
By Chris Evans of Atrium Legal Services