RSI is an injury that amounts from overuse of a particular muscle. Carpal tunnel, tennis elbow and Dequervain’s are all examples of RSI that workers may develop in repetitive jobs such as desk work and production lines workers. When a muscle is overworked, the fibers of the muscle and tendons break down and then, with proper rest, repair themselves.
When the body is pushed too much, without the appropriate rest, fibers in the tissues do not re-align themselves in parallel manners like they should but they become thickened and arrange haphazardly and disorganised. This presentation may result in interruption of nerve tissue causing burning, pins and needles or cold finger tips. The problem may turn into chronic pain syndrome if the proper treatment and rest is not administered in the early phases. In the chronic phase, RSI becomes very hard to treat. Management of the condition includes;
- Ice to control inflammation
- Strengthening exercises to increase the diameter of muscle fibers
- Stretches and flexibility of the muscles affected
- Cessation of causative factors – i.e. stop when it hurts
- Massage by therapist
- TENS – (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to help pain relief