Visit OSHA Website



If a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) arises before prevention techniques are implemented, it is important to eliminate the injury / disorder as quickly as possible in order to prevent the injury from becoming chronic, which can cause scar tissue buildup, reduced blood flow to surrounding soft tissues and possibly long-term nerve damage. Once an injury occurs, ergonomic programs, ergonomic tools / devices, stretch and exercise programs, rehabilitation / therapeutic products and others are all very important in the rehabilitation process.

Fitness Programs are Key to RSI Recovery

The Rehabilitation Process should really be approached as the "Elimination Process". This is the process where the "elimination" of the injury and the events leading up to the injury are recognized and dealt with. If individuals are using improper tools, holding devices incorrectly, have misaligned computer monitors are using inadequate seating, not taking breaks and not performing required stretches and exercises throughout the day, these issues need to be immediately addressed and corrected.

"Each year thousands of people are diagnosed with some kind of an illness directly related to poorly designed work stations. In the U.S., Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI, for short) has become the number one work-related health problem, according to OSHA statistics."

"Ergonomic disorders are the fastest growing category of work-related illness. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , they account for 56 percent of illnesses reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ."

If it is too late to prevent the repetitive strain injury from occurring, it is time to treat the existing injury and implement injury prevention protocols to reduce the chances of it from happening again.

Job/Task Rotation (As Part of the Rehabilitation Process)
Job rotation can help reduce the amount of stress to an already injured area, helping the individual to recover in a more timely manner. At this level of the treatment, the tasks must engage different muscle groups than those that are injured in order to allow recovery. Be sure that each task takes not longer than 30-minutes before moving to another task.

Workstation Design (As Part of the Rehabilitation Process)
If proper ergonomic equipment or workstation set up has not already ben established, now is the time to do it. Again, the key is to fit the workplace to the worker, not the worker to the workplace in order to reduce the exacerbation of the existing repetitive strain injury. If the individual has a wrist injury and it hurts to use the computer mouse, find other alternatives such as voice recognition software, self-clicking devices, etc. to reduce unnecessary stresses.

Tools / Devices (As Part of the Rehabilitation Process)
For rehabilitation purposes, the use of ergonomic tools and equipment is very important as they can decrease the amount of force used for any specific task, which reduces the chance of further irritating the existing repetitive strain injury.

Conservative Therapy - Solution to Recovery

Work Habits (As Part of the Rehabilitation Process)
This is the most important part of the treatment process. Taking rest breaks every 30-minutes and performing a good stretch and exercise program 2-3 times daily (Morning, Noon and Evening) is extremely important to keep the overused and underused muscles of the upper extremity balanced.

The solution to rehabilitating exisitng injureis is taking breaks and performing injury-specific stretch and exercise programs that focus on strengthening weak injured tendons and muscles and stretching overly tight, restrictive muscles in order to maintain / increase circulation whicih in turn brings oxygenated blood to the muscles. These are key elements to recovering from a repetitive strain injury. Without these elements, the individual will most likely continue to experience the injury, eventually causing it to become a chronic long-term disorder.

"According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive strain injuries are the nation's most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation. "
Treatments consist of both invasive and conservative therapy.

Invasive treatments include cortisone injections and surgical procedures while conservative treatments include massage therapy, stretching, exercising, ultrasound, sine wave, cold laser, physical therapy, chiropractic, hot/cold therapy and more.

Articles focusing on repetitive strain injuries of the upper extremity .

Repetitive strain injuries affect millions of individuals each year. Here you can find information and resources regarding treatment options, injury symptoms, testing procedures, injury prevention techniques and more!

Copyright© 2005 RSI-THERAPY.COM - All Rights Reserved