Many people seek chiropractic and other treatments for repetitive stress injuries.
Types of RSIs
Repetitive stress or strain injuries (RSIs) could occur in various parts of the body. They are nervous system and musculoskeletal system injuries caused by “repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or sustained or awkward positions”. Poor ergonomics, improper posture or form, and repeatedly straining parts of the body may cause inflammation and pain. Text neck, tennis elbow, golf elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, radial tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis (tendinitis) are some examples of RSIs.1 Strain to one area of the body can impact other parts, such as the wrist, fingers, neck, or shoulder. Some of the injuries may be caused by sports and leisure activities, while others can be work and office-related. RSIs are considered “overuse injuries”, and they involve tissue damage, muscle strain, pain, and swelling. The activities that cause the RSIs don’t have to be competitive sports, such as tennis, golf, or running. Even playing video games or musical instruments can trigger these injuries.2 There are other types of RSIs. Cervical radiculopathy could be caused by holding a phone on the shoulder while tilting the head, leading the disks to compress. A lump or swelling in the wrist, otherwise known as a ganglion cyst, occurs when a tendon or joint leaks a “jelly-like substance”. A painful condition, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, presents with “swollen hands and loss of muscle control”.3 RSIs occur from cumulative trauma. Over time, even typing or using a computer mouse may lead to these types of injuries. Symptoms include soreness, tightness, and stiffness in the elbows, forearms, fingers, wrists, and hands. The hands may also feel numb, cold, or tingly, and they can lose strength. The pain could also occur in the shoulders, neck, or upper back, being uncomfortable enough to wake the patient at night. Some of the other types of repetitive injuries include bursitis, tendinosis, and tenosynovitis.4 Additionally, trigger finger and rotator cuff syndrome are other forms of RSIs. Repetitive actions, especially performed in a cold place or on vibrating equipment can cause RSIs. Awkward posture, poorly organized workstations, little rest, or forceful movements may also lead to these types of problems.5
Treatments for RSIs
General treatment options for RSIs include anti-inflammatory medications, heat or cold packs, splints, or use of elastic supports. In some cases, steroid injections may be prescribed. Physical therapy, exercise, and relaxation techniques may also be employed. Patients may benefit from medication, yoga, tai chi, walking, and swimming. Ergonomics are also important. Patients need to learn proper posture, take appropriate breaks, and alter their workstation or work environment, if possible.6 Chiropractors are professionals who are experts in musculoskeletal injuries. They can prescribe stretches and exercises for patients, and they are able to perform the necessary adjustments and therapies to assist in proper posture and recovery. Chiropractic treatment can focus on relieving muscle tension and freeing stiff joints.7
5, 6 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/176443.php
Find out more about treating carpal and radial tunnel syndromes.