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Repetitive Strain Injury
Health & Wellness

How to Help Ease Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) can be very uncomfortable, and in some cases, debilitating. RSI is caused by the constant use of muscles or joints that after time cause inflammation and irritation. People who work in certain jobs might be more likely to develop RSI, for example, athletes, labor workers, or people who work with computers and spend all day typing. Signs of an RSI include throbbing pains, stiffness, aching, tingling, or cramps. These injuries are most common in the wrists, neck, shoulders, forearms, and elbows. If you are suffering from an RSI or are worried you have one, here are a few ways you can ease it.  

Rest 

The best thing to do if you have RSI is to rest the affected area. You might have to take some time off of work to do so, or you could speak to your boss to find a solution where you do not need to take sick leave. This could be doing a different task that will help to put less pressure on the area where your RSI is, rather than your usual duties. When you are not at work, you should be trying to rest your injury as much as possible as well. 

Use Supports 

Another way to help you feel more comfortable if you have an RSI is by using supports. For example, if you’re suffering from tennis elbow, this tennis elbow support would be ideal, or you can find ones for your wrists, knees or for whichever type of RSI you have. They can help to drive the blood flow to the area to help reduce inflammation. They are designed to be comfortable and breathable so you can wear them both in the office and at home without any issues. 

Improve Your Posture 

Sometimes RSI can develop due to poor posture as well as the overuse of a certain area. Slouching at your desk or not standing up straight for long periods can put pressure on certain muscles and your spine which can lead to discomfort and pain. You would be surprised to discover that although you are feeling pain in one area, this could be an indication of a problem in another. Use ergonomic office chairs at work to help you sit up properly, and do yoga or Pilates exercises to help strengthen your core and improve your posture

Over the Counter Pain Relief 

One of the simplest ways to help ease your RSI pain is by taking pain relief medication. The best one to use is probably ibuprofen as this will tackle the inflammation as well as your pain, but if you cannot get your hands on that, paracetamol will help. For more intense pains, codeine is a good, strong OTC pain medication that might have a better effect. If you are getting codeine combined with ibuprofen you can also take paracetamol with this, but DO NOT has any more ibuprofen or aspirin with it. Talk to the Pharmacist to make sure you are taking the best medication safely.  

Strengthening Exercises 

While it is important to rest your RSI, you might be having problems because of muscle weakness in that area. Your doctor might be able to refer you to a physiotherapist who can show you some strengthening exercises for your affected area. Over time this could help ease your RSI and stop it from flaring up again. 

If you are feeling discomfort due to an RSI, use these tips to help you ease your pain and recover. 

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