All about work-related upper limb pain (or repetitive strain injury)

Posted by: Anne

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) can be an unpleasant side affect of carrying out repetitive activities at work. This includes being inactive (i.e. sitting at a desk) and maintaining a certain posture over a prolonged period of time. Your body likes to move, and sitting in one position with a poor posture for 40 hours or more a week can take its toll.

Symptoms that I often see from clients with RSI include pain, tight/stiff muscles, throbbing, cramping, and weakness.Usually symptoms improve at weekends or when not in work, and without treatment, symptoms can worsen and be harder to get rid of.

Hands-on treatment can help, and will reduce symptoms, but if you continue to go back to the same work environment after getting your treatment without any changes, you will never fully get rid of this pain. Lifestyle changes need to happen in order to keep tight muscles, and stiff joints happy!

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of RSI occurring or worsening:

  • Try take regular breaks if you do a repetitive task at work.
  • Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine-doing 5mins of stretching on your breaks or going for a walk can be enough sometimes to keep RSI at bay.
  • If you are a desk worker, make sure your seat, keyboard, mouse and screen are positioned so that they cause the least amount of strain to your fingers, hands, wrists, neck and back. See pic below.
  • Sit at your desk with a good posture. Adjust your chair so that your forearms are horizontal with the desk and your eyes are the same height as the top of your computer screen. Your bottom should be right back in the chair with your back fully supported, hips and knees at a 90 degree angle and feet flat on the floor.

If pain persists, give me a call at 086 358 2911 and get it sorted before it worsens. Anne:)