Repetitive strain injury (RSI) refers to the pain felt in areas of the neck and upper limb (arm, forearm, wrist and hand) as a result of repeated activities. It is often referred to in cases related to employment activities as Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD). The condition is commonly associated with work related activities such as computer mouse use and is caused by repeated stresses on tissues such as muscles, tendons or nerves.
People usually report symptoms of pain, pins and needles, burning sensations, swelling and/or weakness in the affected area. Often there is no medical condition to explain the cause of the pain, and scans may not show any particular damage in the tissues.
A physiotherapist can help to identify the specific tissues affected and can offer local treatments to help the pain in addition to offering solutions to address the cause of the symptoms, such as education about aggravating postures and positions. Strategies can include stretching and strengthening specific areas, as well as advice regarding the set up and planning of your work place to ensure correct postures and practices. These can all significantly help to reduce recurrence and improve the rate of recovery.