Repetitive strain injury is becoming a huge problem in today’s world. There are more than three million cases of repetitive strain injury diagnosed every year in the U.S. alone. This kind of injury is avoidable, but unfortunately not many people are made aware of how to prevent it until they have already experienced it.
What Is Repetitive Strain Injury?
Repetitive strain injury, also known as RSI, is a collective term for many different types of injury which are caused by repetitive actions or overuse. The term RSI covers injury of tendons, muscles, joints, and nerves. In early stages, RSI can present itself as minor pain or tingling, but if left untreated it can become an awful chronic issue.
What Causes Repetitive Strain Injury?
RSI can be caused by many different things. If your work or hobbies involve lots of repetitive movements with your arms, wrists, or hands, you are at risk of developing RSI. For example, if you work on a computer all day or work with small tools such as a screwdriver, you are at risk. Even if your job or hobbies do not involve repetitive motions, you may still be at risk if you spend a lot of time holding a position that does not allow for much muscle movement.
Another major risk factor that you should be aware of is working in an extremely cold climate. Brief and directed exposure to cold can be good for you, but being exposed to extreme cold for too long can cause your muscles to have difficulty adapting to movement.
Preventing Repetitive Strain Injury
If you do happen to be at increased risk for developing RSI, there are still some things you can do to reduce said risk. The first and most simple thing that you can do to decrease your risk of developing RSI is to simply take frequent small breaks when doing repetitive tasks. Instead of doing the same thing for eight hours, take a walk to the restroom or get some water from time to time.
Another thing you can do to prevent RSI is to become familiar with different exercises you can do to strengthen the parts of your body that are at risk. Whether it be your wrists, arms, or hands that are at risk, there are all sorts of simple exercises you can do to strengthen and loosen the high risk areas of your body.
The last and probably hardest thing you can do to prevent RSI is to avoid doing the things that put you at risk. This is the most reliable way to prevent developing RSI, but most people simply cannot or will not go this far to prevent RSI. Fortunately, most people can prevent or heal from RSI without having to give up their passion or livelihood.