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Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) risk factors

A RSI is caused by repetitive movements coupled with poor posture that can lead to muscle fatigue and damage. Marked by pain, numbness and muscle weakness, they can lead to pain or injury of any compensating structures. For example, pain lifting your arm to the side and over your head may begin as a muscular injury to the deltoid muscle but because of abnormal recruitment of other muscles to compensate for deltoid weakness and pain, other muscles of the shoulder and beyond may experience overuse or misuse and suffer injury as well. We commonly refer to these as compensation injuries. 

Physical risk factors for RSI:

  • Joint hypermobility

  • Lack of exercise

  • Increased muscle tension

  • Poor posture and body movements. 

For instance were you aware that sitting at work for the vast majority of working time is correlated with neck pain. I bet any office worker could put two and two together and be aware of that correlation. 

Besides the above physical risk factors, other factors include:

  • Work environment, such as computer operators and telephone operators or employees who spend a great deal of their work day with their arms in a continuous raised manner like assembly line workers. 

  • Repetition of movements while performing job duties as well as lack of movement while performing job duties. 

  • Job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. When employees suffer a lack of support from both peers and superiors or feel like that they are always being closely watched and monitored, they have a tendency to experience mental stress and develop musculoskeletal disorders and symptoms.

Regardless of whether RSI is real or in your head or both, there are things that everyday workers can do to treat RSI. Please stay tuned for coming suggestions and videos. Thank you!


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