Repetitive Strain Injury goes by a lot of different names. This includes names like repetitive stress injury, repetitive motion injuries, repetitive motion disorder (RMD), cumulative trauma disorder (CT), occupational overuse syndrome, and many more. This is an injury that occurs due to repeated stress on the muscle and/or nerves in an area. Specifically, this is well known now among people who use computers for long periods of time, for work or recreation. Small movements done over and over again eventually strain the muscles and tendons of the forearms, wrists, and fingers, causing microscopic tears. The injured muscles contract, and the sheaths covering tensions do not get lubricated, due to inadequate rest. This causes the muscles to pull and chafe, causing pain. Other common symptoms include numbness, tingling, or hypersensitivity to touch. Unless taken care of as soon as possible, RSI can become a chronic, painful problem. And this is not limited to the wrists and fingers. Postural defects can lead to back problems, the eye muscles can tire on continual exposure to light and images, and the pain in wrists can radiate up the arms till the shoulders and the neck.|
RSI can be exacerbated by pre-existing conditions such as loose-jointedness, diabetes, and arthritis. Working in a high pressure job with long hours can make the symptoms worse. The pain would often linger much after the actual stimulus is removed. A generally unhealthy lifestyle would also worsen the pain. Such minor activities as watching the TV while sitting or slouching in an incorrect manner, or talking on the phone by wedging it between the head and the shoulder, over time can lead to pain or tingling.
RSI can be managed if diagnosed and treated early. Thus, if the pain, numbness of tinging sensation persists for a while, getting medical help is the first step towards recovery. As with normal health, it is important to eat right with the right amount of nutrients, hydrate regularly, get adequate rest, take frequent breaks to walk around if one has a deskbound job, and maintain correct posture. Medically, braces and pain relieving medication can be taken. Most often, it is NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) that are prescribed, though these would not help manage the pain in the long run. One can also switch to more ergonomic devices to reduce the stress , especially for typing and clicking. A mattress of adequate thickness and proper support for the spinal column can be helpful in posture correction. It is important to give the muscles a chance to heal on their own, thus, identifying the strain causing the injury is important.
The joints in question can then be rested for adequate amounts of time for it to heal completely. Massage, exercises for the joints and breathing exercises can also help. Doctors also suggest that it is important to not let the pain extract a psychological cost in terms of avoiding the pain causing activities in the long term. They suggest that it is important to get back to the daily routine as far as possible, along with exercising caution. RSI, though an extremely painful condition, can be well managed if proper precautions are taken. It should be no reason to miss out on things in life.
Symptoms include pain, tinling or loss of sensation, general fatigue, clumsiness, favoring the nondominant arm, and sympathy pains when someone else talks about hand pain.
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