Are You Suffering From A Repetitive Strain Injury or Overuse Injury?

To put it simply, Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) are one in the same, each describes the other or is another name for the other. Both conditions are created when someone repeats unnatural movements on a daily basis where they may be forced into an awkward position for an extended period of time. This results in inflammation & damage to the soft tissues, i.e. muscles, tendons, nerves, etc. The good news is RSI or OOS are fairly common which means it can be treated and reversed.

However, if a person is unaware that they are experiencing an overuse injury and do not undertake the appropriate action needed to combat it, there is a big possibility of it becoming a far more serious problem. And that’s exactly what we don’t want!

Symptoms that are likely to occur to a sufferer of a strain injury consists of cramping and numbness in the muscles or tendons, it is also the most common to affect the upper part of the body, such as the neck, trapezius, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, elbows, etc. Where a person experiences RSI really varies as it depends on each individual case, here are some symptoms to be conscious of:

  • Weakness of the affected muscles & difficulty performing simple tasks.
  • Aching and pain.
  • Cramping.
  • Stiffness.
  • Numbness or a tingling sensation.
  • Fatigue or loss of strength.
  • Burning or shooting pain.
  • Chronically cold hands, particularly the fingertips.
  • Tremors or clumsiness.
  • A throbbing or pulsating sensation.
  • Tenderness.

It is important to be aware of the initial symptoms of overuse injuries which often begins with discomfort & tingling in the strained area, these symptoms are most likely to occur during or after the repetitive task is performed. Although these symptoms may seem minor and most people may be able to live with, if untreated, over time these minor symptoms will develop into a chronic injury accompanied with severe pain. 

It is important to remember to take breaks during the time that you may be engaging in an activity that triggers the above symptoms otherwise you will aggravate the condition and as previously mentioned, create a chronic injury. The most common activities that can induce RSI or OOS are:

  • Playing musical instruments.
  • Spending a lot of time sitting & using a computer or laptop, specifically office workers.
  • Drawing.
  • Writing.
  • Working on the checkouts of a shop.
  • Playing video games or excessive use of mobile phones.
  • Certain sports.
  • Working in a factory.
  • Regularly driving long distances.
  • Using power tools.
  • Prolonged exposure to the cold.

The main point to take away from this is that if you are performing a repeated set of movements on a daily basis, you will be highly likely to develop a strain/overuse injury. So what do we do about it?

Firstly, become aware of your posture & mobility, if you are unsure, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Are you sitting with correct posture? 
  • Are you taking breaks? 
  • Do you do any stretches, exercises or massage to combat the repetitive movements? 

Secondly, if you feel you may be suffering with a repetitive strain or overuse injury, you should consult your osteopath immediately to prevent the possibility of it becoming a more serious problem. At Enfield Osteopathic Clinic, we offer a complimentary consultation that will give us all the information we need regarding your case. We can offer traditional massage & manipulation techniques but treatment may vary depending on the severity of the case.

Whether the condition is in its early days or has become a chronic injury, we will be able to put together an appropriate plan of action to get you on the path to recovery. Be sure to give us a call on 020 8482 1112 or use our online booking system to secure an appointment so we can get started!

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