Do you suffer from a nagging or severe pain in your wrist, arm or shoulder when using a computer? If so it’s probably Repetitive Strain Injury.
I suffered this type of pain and found that available information was not very clear, or concise. I wanted to share my experience, and the solution I discovered to be able to help others.
What is RSI?
This is an umbrella term used to cover a wide range (15+) of separate medical conditions associated with repetitive tasks, such as using a computer mouse or keyboard. In the majority of cases, RSI causes a nagging or extreme pain in your wrist, arm, shoulder and back.
It can come on quite suddenly, ‘out of the blue’ or gradually increase over a long period. If you continue with your activities and posture it will get worse and worse and prevent you from doing your routine work or household activities.
If it’s not treated reasonably quickly, the symptoms may become irreversible. When you first notice symptoms of RSI, you have probably already done substantial damage to yourself. RSI can take months, even years to develop, and you can expect it to take at least twice as long to heal.
Who suffers from this condition?
Computer users, gamers, machinery and power tool users, sports men and women, and manual labourers to name just a few.
Activities that can increase your risk of developing RSI.
- Repetitive activities which are lightweight, but which subject muscles to strain they are not used to, such as suspending the hand and arm upwards, for long periods, for computer use.
- Repetitive activities involving force, such as lifting or carrying heavy objects.
- Not taking adequate rest periods combined with poor posture.
- Working in awkward or tiring positions, and/or using vibrating equipment.
Is there a cure? What’s the solution?
The short answer is to stop whatever physical activities you are doing, and do something completely different!
However, of course, for most people this is impossible, sufferers need to continue with their work, their lifestyle, their sport, etc. However whilst the problems occur in different parts of the anatomy, under different conditions, the treatments are similar.
- Stopping the activity which caused the problem in the first place.
- Exercises to relax and assist the recovery of muscles, tendons and ligaments.
- Prescriptions of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers including steroids.
- In extreme cases surgery may be necessary.
- The crucial thing to understand is this: Your hands bear about 10% of the load of typing. 90% of the load is borne by your forearm, upper arm and back. The ‘hands’ and wrists can’t be “fixed” without fixing the entire upper body. The body works as a whole.
The above is just a ‘snippet’ from a compilation website containing most of the information the author could find on the Internet. It also includes a concept device which when manufactured may help sufferers. Do have a look you might find it very useful. www.rsipainrelief.com
by David Sherry
The author is also the inventor of a device to relieve the pain of RSI, would be gratified if anyone with RSI could have a look at www.rsipainrelief.com, and add to the contact form, any details they would like to share regarding their personal experience with RSI.
This will provide additional research to assist with the development of the invention. Don’t worry! your details will not be used for any other communication purpose than to advise you of developments.