Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
Repetitive Strain Injury is possibly the No 1 cause of industrial injuries for office workers.
Whether you are looking for a preventative or rehabilitative aid, your wrists or knuckles are just starting to ache or you have been diagnosed with full blown Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), our ergonomics specialist centres, The RSI Shop and Adapt-IT have a wide range of products that can help.
“RSI” is a catch-all phrase or syndrome for work related Muscular Skeletal Disorders (MSD) incorporating several discrete conditions associated with activity-related arm pain such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) and tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).
Other terms by which it is commonly known are Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD), Occupational Overuse Syndrome, non-specific arm pain or Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD).
RSI is also used as an umbrella term for non-specific illnesses popularly referred to as Blackberry thumb, iPod finger, gamer’s thumb (a slight swelling of the thumb caused by excessive use of a gamepad), Rubik’s wrist or “cuber’s thumb” (tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other ailments associated with repetitive use of a Rubik’s Cube for speedcubing), “Stylus Finger” (swelling of the hand caused by repetitive use of mobile devices and mobile device testing.), Raver’s Wrist, caused by repeated rotation of the hands for many hours (for example while holding glow sticks during a rave) and others.
For further information see:
What can you do about RSI?
There are a number of simple steps that you can do to try and alleviate the condition. Although there is no universal panacea, generally these steps will not aggravate your wrist condition and should help:
- Seek medical advice – always a good starting point, so that at least you will know what you are dealing with. Very often doctors will prescribe anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen.
- Ensure that you are sitting in the best possible position. This may seem obvious but many problems muscular skeletal problems arise because of poor posture. If any of the following are not satisfied – you need to do something about it. Specifically you need to make sure that
- Your chair is at the correct height relative to your table
- Your feet are touching the floor flat
- Your keyboard is as close to the edge of the desk as possible with the mouse as close to the side of the keyboard as possible
- The top of your monitor is level or slightly lower than your eye level
- Make sure that you take regular breaks from continuous typing or mousing, at least once an hour.
- Ensure that your hobbies at home don’t aggravate the situation. Give your wrists a rest in the evening. Typical hobbies that we have occasionally seen and could be regarded as unwise are:
- More computer work
- Writing or painting. Remember that RSI used to be called “writers’ cramp”
- Musical instruments – any kind of keyboard should be avoided
- Weight lifting
- Taking big energetic dogs for a walk, with constant pulling on the leash
- Gardening – avoid secateurs