Repetitive Strain Injuries

Understanding Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)

May 24, 2024 | Physiotherapy

Understanding The Impact of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) also known as Musculoskeletal Disorders, are an umbrella term used to describe a family of painful disorders affecting tendons, muscles, nerves, and joints.

Risk Factors of Repetitive Strain Injuries

RSI are associated with work patterns that include:

  • Fixed and constrained body position
  • Continual repetition of movement
  • Force concentrated on small joints
  • A pace of work that does not allow sufficient recovery between movements

Signs and Symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injuries

Pain is the most common symptom associated with RSI, in addition, there may be joint stiffness, muscle tightness, redness, and swelling of the affected area. RSI may progress in stages from mild to severe.

Early Stage

  • Aching & Tiredness
  • It disappears at night
  • No reduction of work performance

Intermediate Stage

  • Aching & Tiredness early in work shift
  • Persists at night
  • Reduced capacity for work

Later Stage

  • Aching
  • Fatigue and weakness at rest
  • Inability to sleep and perform light duties

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Repetitive Strain Injuries from typing

Common Repetitive Strain Injuries:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tennis/Golfers Elbow
  • De’ Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
  • Trigger Finger
  • Tendinopathy

How to Recognize RSI

Evaluation begins with a detailed description of all the processes involved in a typical workday. Consideration is given to frequency, intensity, duration, and regularity. Diagnosis can be confirmed by performing tests like EMG, NCV, USG or MRI.

Repetitive Strain Injury Treatment

Repetitive Strain Injuries elbows

How to prevent Repetitive strain injury

As we all know, prevention is better than cure. Prevention is much less costly than treatment and may be more effective. Here are a few strategies to be followed in routine life.

Rule of 30

2-minute breaks after every 30 minutes of work to prevent constant strain of soft tissue. Prolong Sitting/Standing posture compromises the blood flow into the muscles and tendons. This leads to the beginning of muscle/joint stiffness, which gradually progresses to inflammation in the soft tissues.

Regular stretching workout

Active stretching regularly offers a range of benefits, from increasing flexibility of muscles/tendons, improving blood circulation, reduction in pain and improving overall performance. Just be sure to begin slowly and listen to your body.

Workplace Design

When it is not practical to eliminate the repetitive aspect of a job, a well-designed workstation that is adjusted to fit the worker and allows standing, sitting or sitting-standing position, can help. Timely ergonomic assessment to be done for employees’ safety.


This is one of the most important strategies to follow. Awareness program to be conducted by a specialist at the workplace. Workers should be trained to understand the causes of injuries, preventive measures, and early recognition of symptoms.

Eat a healthy and balanced diet

Your body can withstand injuries if properly nourished with protein intake regularly. Protein helps to rebuild and repair your soft tissues.


If your symptoms are more persistent, it is time to see your physiotherapist. Therapists assist you in finding the right diagnosis and planning your treatment session to speed up your recovery and healing process.

Where to find a Physiotherapist?

At Jack Nathan Rehab, we offer a range of physiotherapy services aimed at alleviating pain, improving mobility, and enhancing the quality of life for our patients. Whether you’re in Vaughan, Thornhill, St. Albert, or Edmonton, our dedicated team is here to serve you. If physiotherapy sounds like the perfect fit for you, don’t hesitate. Start your journey towards better health and mobility today!

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St. Albert best physiotherapy clinic

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