Conditions

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a general term used to describe the pain from muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse.

The condition mostly affects parts of the upper body, such as the forearm, elbow, wrist, hands, neck and shoulders.

It often occurs in people who work with computers or carry out repetitive manual work. In the UK, one worker in every 50 has reported an RSI condition.

Certain things are thought to increase the risk of RSI, including:

  • Doing an activity for a long time without rest
  • Doing an activity that involves force, such as lifting heavy objects
  • Poor posture or activities that require you to work in an awkward position
  • Cold temperatures
  • Vibrating equipment
  • Stress

 

At first, you might only notice symptoms when you are carrying out a particular repetitive action, for example when you are at work. When you have finished work and are resting, your symptoms may improve. This is the first stage of symptoms and may last for several weeks.

If left untreated, the symptoms of RSI are likely to get worse and cause longer periods of pain. You may also get swelling in the affected area, which can last for several months. Without treatment, the symptoms of RSI can become constant.

It is important to get treatment as soon as you experience symptoms of RSI. This increases your chance of recovery and reduces your risk of long-term problems.

* The contents of this condition is for information purposes only.