Ironcult » Health » RSI


  • By Vishwanthar on Health

  • December 14, 2010

Repetitive stress injury (RSI) is an injury to the muscoskeletal and nervous system that may be caused by repetitive tasks.  RSI among computer users seem to be very common now such as  tendinitis in the shoulder, upper-back, and thumb.  Tendinitis means an inflammation of a tendon.

Individuals should use rest as the first medicine.  Secondly, ergonomic adjustments should be considered, which means modifying posture and arm use.  For example, using an ergonomic keyboard may provide some relief.  Last but not the least, individuals should consider strengthening the injured area.  Exercising when the pain is prevailing might not be possible, but exercising the surrounding musculature might help in ameliorating the soreness.  The individual has to intelligently choose those exercises, which can be executed without any pain to the injured area.  He/she has to incorporate exercises slowly into their training regime without aggravating the existing injury.  They have to exercise around the injury, so to speak, which means they have to test all the movements and go ahead with those movements  that doesn’t cause any discomfort.  For example, I have seen among individuals who have shoulder impingement that bench pressing with a bar causes them discomfort.  So dumbbells and kettlebells are a much better alternative, for they feel at ease when they are on it.  Likewise, pull-ups and pull-downs ( pronated grip) causes them discomfort;  whereas, chinups and pull-downs (supinated grip) causes no pain at all.  So you see that  the individuals who have shoulder injuries by merely changing the grip can breathe a sigh of relief.   Similarly, individuals with other injuries can also exercise by varying the movement.

Resting the injured area would help initially, but later on when the injury heals or when the pain subsides, the injured part has to be exercised, for lack of mobility (exercise) causes muscular atrophy.  Muscle atrophy is a decrease in the mass of the muscle, which may lead to muscle weakness.  My question to you is, why do you want to amplify the existing injury by bringing forth another setback?

2 thoughts on “RSI

  1. As you are aware I have tendinitis in the shoulder. Some movements are very painful and I am undergoing physiotherapy with the hope that the injury will heal asap. I have a feeling that you are not a believer of physiotherapy.

  2. Physiotherapy helps in the beginning, but over a period of time I as an athlete would not benefit from those drills. Whereas, physiotherapy will be of great help to a layman, who would have come across an injury, for the drills will help him to get back to normalcy. For him it is not required to perform any task at an optimal level. He would want to get back to his normal routine, as that would be his intention. But my question to you is, would the drills help an athlete who is performing at very intense level? I feel it would not help at the later stages. I believe an athlete would need a more aggressive form of rehabilitation, for he is required to function at an optimal level and not merely recover from the injury.
    I hope I am clear.

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