How to prevent the occurrence of Repetitive Stress Injury

Experiencing a tingling sensation in your wrist or a stiff neck? Do not ignore! You may be suffering from a repetitive strain injury.

One of the biggest challenges for our health today is the amount of time we spend in activities that put stress on our bodies. From hunched over a table for long hours to engaging in high-intensity activity, repeated use of the same movement causes inflammation and damage to the body’s muscles, nerves, and tendons.

The number of Indians affected by Repetitive Strain Injuries also VoltageInjury (RSI) is on the rise today. One studying by RECOUP, a Bangalore-based Neuromusculoskeletal Rehabilitation Center, reveals that up to 75% of the population working in the IT industry, BPOs and call center are at risk and have symptoms of RSI.

What causes repetitive strain injury?

Small tears in muscle or tendon tissue are routine, but any pain or damage caused is usually healed with rest. However, without rest, the muscle or tendon structure is impacted.

When muscles are damaged or tense from overuse, the nerves that run through it can also become inflamed and painful. Over time, this affects posture and movement, leading to joint pain and stiffness.

Common symptoms of RSI are:

  • Ache
  • Tenderness
  • stiffness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Weakness
  • Cramps

Repetitive strain injuries can be classified into two types:

Type 1

These are well-defined conditions that can be diagnosed easily, due to the availability of measurable evidence. Examples of type 1 repetitive strain injuries include:

  • tendinitis

    This is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon – a thick cord that joins bone to muscle. It can occur in almost any area of ​​the body, but is most commonly found at the base of the thumb, elbow, shoulder, hip, and knee. Shoulder tendinitis is known to occur among office workers who carry heavy laptop backpacks and walk long distances.

  • tenosynovitis

    Another type of tendon injury that causes inflammation of the tendon lining. Symptoms include joint stiffness and swelling of the affected area.

  • bursitis

    Small fluid-filled sacs called bursae cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near the joints. Bursitis occurs when the bursae become inflamed. Common symptoms include pain, tenderness, and decreased range of motion over the affected area.

type 2

Also known as Diffuse RSI or Nonspecific Pain Syndrome, these are limb disorders that are more difficult to diagnose and treat as they do not provide clear measurable evidence such as swelling, deformation, dysfunction, etc.

How to avoid repetitive strain injuries?

Poor posture, poor exercise technique, and overuse are the top three causes of repetitive strain injuries, so these tips can help you avoid them:

  • Maintain a neutral body position (a posture in which your joints are naturally aligned). Keep your head level, facing forward and in line with your torso. Place your feet on the floor or a footrest. Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang.
  • Make sure your workstation is ergonomic (see image below).

neutral body position

  • When seated, try to maintain good posture. The head and back should form a straight line from the ears to the pelvis.
  • When typing, make sure your wrists are not bent to one side. Keep them pointing straight with your forearm.
  • Take regular breaks from repetitive tasks.
  • Make it a point to get up once every hour. Walk around, stretching your arms and wrists, and also straighten the fingers.
  • Perform muscle-relaxing breathing techniques, such as pranayama at your desk every two hours.
  • Do proper warm-up and cool-down routines during your workout. This is vital for maintaining the health of tendons and bursae over the years.

Try These Exercises To Prevent RSI

back stretch

  • Sit on the edge of the chair, with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Bend over until your chest touches your knees.
  • Let your arms hang on the floor and relax your neck.

cross your arms

straight arm

  • Extend one arm straight in front of you.
  • With the other hand, grab the elbow of the outstretched arm and pull it towards the chest.
  • Repeat with the other arm.

twist your trunk

  • Sit up straight and breathe in.
  • Exhale, turn to the right and grasp the back of the chair with your right hand and the arm of the chair with your left hand.
  • Repeat with the other side.

leg stretches

  • Sit with your back straight.
  • Grasp the seat of the chair and extend your legs in front of you until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Point and flex your toes five times.

sit and stay

  • Get up and sit in the chair without using your hands.

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