Repetitive strain injuries
Repetitive strain injuries, are, as the name implies, injuries sustained as a result of repetitive movements and overuse. Injury occurs to the musculoskeletal and nervous system, generally in an accumulative fashion.
The condition tends to occur more in the upper body, effecting the hands, wrists, forearms, arms, neck and shoulders.
Patients will commonly describe symptoms which build up gradually and may include pain, stiffness, weakness, cramping, tingling, numbness and swelling. These symptoms can range from being mild to severe, but without treatment they can become more severe and longer lasting.
What causes it?
It is often repetitive activities or a combination of poor posture and poor working positions. Vibrations and excessive gripping or trauma may also cause it. Cold temperatures and stress are also thought to contribute to it.
What can you do?
Look at activities that you feel may be causing the symptoms. Is there any way you can adapt these activities or change them or rest from them for a period of time? Speak to your employer if this relates to work.
Ani-inflammatory drugs and pain killers may assist with symptoms. Splints and supports can also give some relief as can the use of hot and cold packs.
Osteopathy, acupuncture, physiotherapy and massage may also help to reduce symptoms. The use of electrotherapy like ultrasound can also help.
It is a good idea to assess your daily tasks and see how you can make small changes to them.
Take regular breaks, stretch and use good postural control
Look at yoga or pilates to help you with this and strengthen weak muscle groups. Look at tackling stress and general wellbeing too, to aid a more relaxed mental attitude. Check how your desk is set up and speak to occupational health if you require advice on this or check out some of the government sites online. These offer simple ways to help you understand how to set your desk up properly.