Repetitive Strain Injury

Category: Orthopedic and Sports Therapy, Pain Relief

Cumming Physical Therapy, GAIt is interesting how certain injuries can change, yet stay the same over time. Today we have repetitive strain injuries (RSI) that are the consequences of manual labor, office work and/or the technology we use. Some of the more recent injuries include iPod finger, PlayStation thumb, Rubik’s wrist (or cuber’s thumb) stylus finger and Emacs pinky. Though these types of injuries are 21st century maladies, repetitive strain injuries are not new.

RSI was first described by an Italian physician in 1700. Bernardino Ramazzini documented over 20 categories of RSI. He made these observations among Italian industrial workers of his day. Hundreds of years later, RSI is still a concern among workers and those participating in sports and certain leisure activities.

Facts About RSI

Here are a few key facts about repetitive strain injuries:

  • RSIs come in many forms and the devices we use today have broadened the field.
  • There are several ways to treat RSI, depending on the type.
  • Many RSIs can be prevented.
  • Muscles in different parts of the body can be affected by an RSI in another part of the body.
  • Symptoms of RSI can get worse with monotony and psychological stress.
  • Making changes in how you do things can help prevent RSI.
  • Other names include: occupational overuse syndrome, regional musculoskeletal disorder, cumulative trauma disorder (CTD), overuse syndrome and repetitive motion disorder (RMD).

RSI Symptoms

This condition can happen to virtually any moving part of the body. Symptoms can include:

  • Loss of strength
  • Loss of sensation
  • Tingling in extremities
  • Tenderness in the muscle or joint of affected area
  • Pain in the affected area
  • Throbbing or pulsating sensation

Diagnosis and Treatment of RSI

A physical examination can determine if RSI is present. There are two basic categories of the condition.

Type 1 RSI includes swelling and inflammation of certain muscles or tendons. This type of RSI is considered a musculoskeletal disorder.

Type 2 RSI is related to nerve damage. These types of injuries are usually the result of repetitive work activities and they can have a range of causes.

Treatment for RSI varies greatly because the causes and symptoms of the condition are so varied. Medication is used in many cases. These include over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Hot/cold therapy is also used. Physical therapy can help and usually includes exercises, manual therapy and other methods as deemed necessary by the physical therapist or doctor. Steroid injections and surgery are usually saved as last resort measures for certain situations.

Let the professionals at Sovereign Rehabilitation help you get the pain relief you seek for your RSI. Call us today for more information or to schedule your appointment with us. We make life feel better.

Posted on behalf of Sovereign Rehabilitation

Sovereign Rehabilitation – Atlanta Physical Therapist
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Suite 225
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 835-3340
For our patients’ convenience, we offer 14 locations to serve you.