Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a general term used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse. It’s also known as work-related upper limb disorder, or non-specific upper limb pain. The condition mostly affects parts of the upper body, such as the forearms and elbows, wrists and hands, neck and shoulders
Symptoms of RSI
The symptoms of RSI can range from mild to severe and usually develop gradually. They often include:
- pain, aching or tenderness
- tingling or numbness
At first, you might only notice symptoms when you’re carrying out a particular repetitive action without adequate rest periods, adopting a poor posture when working or taking part in an activity that requires you to work in an awkward position. Stress can also be a contributing factor.
But without treatment, the symptoms of RSI may eventually become constant and cause longer periods of pain. You may also get swelling in the affected area, which can last for several months.
Correcting your work technique
Build up over time from repetitive patterns of work with awkward postures or without adequate rest periods.
5 Top Tips to Reduce your Risk
- Always have your arms in alignment with the desk
- Keep your shoulders relaxed, with our arms by your side
- Keep your wrist relaxed with typing and using the mouse
- Keep your wrist in a neutral position when typing or using the mouse, don’t extend upwards or sideways and try not to clench the mouse.
- Take regular breaks from computer work, at least a few minutes every hour. Try and vary tasks where possible.
If you develop symptoms of RSI and think it may be related to your job, speak to your employer or occupational health representative. It may be possible to modify your tasks to improve your symptoms. Your employer has a legal duty to try to prevent work-related RSI and ensure anyone who already has the condition doesn’t get any worse.
If your work involves sitting at the computer for many hours, it is important to reduce the tension build up in the first place by sitting in a healthy upright posture, with your lower back supported and your arms supported by your side, in line with your keyboard.
Identifying the symptoms and getting a diagnosis that pinpoints the underlying cause of the pain is the first step in obtaining effective pain relief.
- See your doctor for a diagnosis or recommendation for further treatment, including surgery.
- See a physiotherapist or osteopath to provide corrective solutions through manipulation and prescribed exercises
- Try stretching exercise classes that build the core and help correct the areas of tension build up, such as pilates, yoga or consider Tai Chi or the Alexander Technique for good posture . Always declare your injury to the teacher of the class.
- Heat and/or cold therapy helps relieve most types of low back pain by reducing inflammation. Often patients use ice pads, but some prefer heat. Both may be used alternately and there are many options available at pharmacies.
- A wide variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications is available to help reduce lower back pain. Seek advice as to which is best for you.
- Use a proper ergonomic/orthopaedic chair or adjustable back support cushion to correct your posture and allow your back to heal by reducing tension and pain build up from bad posture keep muscles strong.
How Corrigo can help
Many chairs lack the adjustablility that allows you to support your body in its own natural S shape. Corrigo chairs actively prevent you from sitting in a slouched C shape and adjust to fit you correctly so that your whole body is supported in an optimum S Shape curve. Every area should be supported to ensure maximum pressure reduction, relief from pain and ensuring balanced muscle use, from your hips and thighs to your back, neck and shoulders
Every individual is a different shape and size, even two people of the same height and weight will require different settings in a chair. Corrigo chairs recognise and embrace this individuality and our chairs therefore provide far higher levels of adjustability found in most chairs in the market place. The key areas of support needed to prevent and reduce RSI are the lumbar curve, the upper back and arms. Our arms are surprising heavy if unsupported when working at the computer, and tension in the neck and shoulders will build up over time, potentially leading to frozen shoulder if not addressed. This is further exacerbated if the back is also not supported in the correct place. Corrigo chairs have been specifically designed by an ergonomist and physiotherapist to prevent and reduce back pain by ensuring a healthy posture. If you are seeking treatment, it is essential to maximise your recovery and rehabilitation plan by correcting your posture, allowing your back to heal. No more slouching.
Contact us for a free consultation on finding the right support option for you at firstname.lastname@example.org
or click HERE for information on the Corrigo chair for RSI, the Libero.