dean-s-headshot

Dean Smith, Teacher,
Garage Dog, Cobourg
sufferer of Repetitive Elbow Strain
 

“Without seeing a Doctor first, We-Fix-U started helping me the day I called them about my repetitive elbow strain. I found an added comfort knowing that even though I was dealing with one physiotherapist, there was a team of professionals lending their knowledge and skill to my cause.  It’s easy to understand how I was feeling better so fast.”

Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive strain injury (RSI), also called work-related upper limb disorder (WRULD), is a general term used to describe the pain caused to muscles, nerves and tendons by repetitive movement and overuse.

 

The condition mostly affects parts of the upper body, such as the forearm, elbow, wrist, hands, neck and shoulders.

RSI is usually associated with doing a particular activity repeatedly or for a long period of time. It often occurs in people who work with computers or carry out repetitive manual work.

RSI conditions

There are several medical conditions and injuries that can be classed as type 1 RSI, including the following.

Bursitis:

inflammation and swelling of the fluid-filled sac near a joint at the knee, elbow or shoulder.

Carpal tunnel syndrome:

pressure on the median nerve passing through the wrist.

Dupuytren’s contracture:

a thickening of deep tissue in the palm of the hand and into the fingers.

Epicondylitis:

inflammation of an area where bone and tendon join. An example of epicondylitis is tennis elbow.

Rotator cuff syndrome:

inflammation of muscles and tendons in the shoulder.

Tendonitis:

inflammation of a tendon.

Tenosynovitis:

inflammation of the inner lining of the tendon sheath that houses tendons. Tenosynovitis most commonly occurs in the hand, wrist or forearms.

Ganglion cyst:

a sac of fluid that forms around a joint or tendon, usually on the wrist or fingers.

Raynaud’s phenomenon:

a condition where the blood supply to extremities, such as the fingers, is interrupted.

Thoracic outlet syndrome:

compression of the nerves or blood vessels that run between the base of the neck and the armpit.

Writer’s cramp:

part of a family of disorders known as dystonia that cause muscle spasms in the affected part of the body. Writer’s cramp occurs from overuse of the hands and arms.

Symptoms

Symptoms of repetitive strain injury (RSI), or work-related upper limb disorders (WRULD), can vary but may include:

  • pains or tenderness in your
  • muscles or joints
  • stiffness
  • throbbing
  • tingling or numbness
  •  weakness
  •  cramp

At first, symptoms might only occur when you are carrying out a particular repetitive action, for example when you are at work. When you have finished work and are resting, your symptoms may improve. This is the first stage of symptoms and may last for several weeks.

If left untreated, the symptoms of RSI are likely to get worse and cause longer periods of pain. You may also get swelling in the affected area, which can last for several months.

Without treatment the symptoms of RSI can become constant. At this stage the condition may be irreversible.

It is important to get treatment as soon as you experience symptoms of RSI. This increases the chances of recovery and reduces the risk of long-term problems.