Around 5,000–6,000 repetitive stress injuries (RSI) occur in the Arizona workforce each year. Most of these incidents affect the back. These RSI statistics only include those that employers reported. More cases go undetected because of a lack of awareness. Know what the symptoms are of RSI to catch it early on and receive the treatment that you need.
Symptoms of an RSI
You could experience symptoms in any part of your body, although the neck, back, shoulders, elbows, arms and hands are the most common areas affected. Numbness, tingling, burning pain, throbbing pain and aching are signs that you might have a repetitive stress injury. If you notice redness, swelling or warmth, then this could also mean that you have an injury. Symptoms that people typically don’t take seriously are stiffness and weakness.
How to treat symptoms of an RSI
You could apply an ice pack or a warm compress to the afflicted area to relieve pain and relax the muscles. Only apply the pack or compress for up to 15-20 minutes at a time every two to three hours. Take it easier in your daily activities that are contributing to the symptoms. Remember to take regular breaks for resting and stretching.
It’s important to not avoid the activity for more than a few days because this could cause muscle weakness and stiffness that make the problem worse. If your symptoms persist or worsen despite treating them, then it’s necessary to schedule a doctor’s appointment.
How to prevent an RSI
Some of the treatments for repetitive stress injuries are also the methods of prevention. You could prevent sustaining an RSI by taking regular breaks and stretching often. Follow ergonomic practices for your activities as well. Set up your computer in an ergonomic way even if it’s your home computer station. Learn how to use the equipment correctly. Maintain proper form while exercising and playing sports.
Anyone who engages in a repetitive activity, whether as a hobby or for work, could develop a repetitive stress injury. In some situations, you could recover with home treatment. If your symptoms don’t go away, then you may need to see a doctor.