Years ago, repetitive strain injuries were thought to only be a problem for factory or assembly line workers as a result of doing exactly the same tasks over and over. However, recent research suggests that any activity, recreational or occupational, that uses the same muscles or muscle groups to complete a variety of tasks within a short period can be a cause for RSI's.
Love to play tennis? Tennis Elbow (also known at Lateral Epicondylitis) is a common tendinitis condition caused by overuse of the elbow. Have you been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel? Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome is the second most common condition linked to worker's compensation cases in the United States; second only to it's RSI cousin- back pain. In fact, one in every three workers'
compensation dollars pays for RSIs. In all, insurers awarded an estimated 2.73 million workers' compensation claims for RSIs in one year, costing employers more than $20 billion. Indirect costs
to employers are estimated to be five times that amount at $100 billion.(U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA Archive,
https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=SPEECHES&p_id=206). You do not have to be doing heavy labor to experience an RSI: a quarter of occupational RSI's recorded in
the last 10 years are related to typing and computer work.
What are the risk factors of Repetitive Strain Injury?
- Physical fitness
- Preexisting contributing medical conditions (arthritis, surgery, diabetes, etc)
- Body mechanics
- Excessive force
- High volume of activity in a short period of time
Why are RSI's so significant? These muskuloskeletal disorders can be debilitating and cause long term damage to muscle, ligaments and tendons. Many of these diagnosis are treated with short term
results from pain relievers, injections, and other topical applications. There is also a high percentage of injury recurrence with these treatments. More severe cases often result in surgery and
a lot of downtime.
How can we help? Therapy is the most effective way to treat RSI's. We help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, regain strength and mobility, and improve flexibility. We are also trained to
educate patients on improving body mechanics, avoiding related stressors and improving ergonomics to prevent re-injury.
Check out the OSHA training powerpoint to find out more about RSI's, related conditions, or occupational health and safety.