Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
With the overwhelming amount of work now done on computers, new, formerly unfamiliar motions to the body like clicking, typing, and scrolling, could bring a potentially debilitating condition to the hands called Repetitive Strain Injury, or RSI. RSI comes from the overuse of the hands performing a repetitive task, resulting from awkward, prolonged, and sometimes forceful movements. These tiny movements, repeated day after day, can result in microscopic tears in the tendons, leading to inflammation and limited range of motion. Though it is similar in origin, it is not the same as carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis.
The daily use of computers isn't the only job that causes repetitive stress. It's any work you do, physically day by day, felt in your muscles and joints. Some of the worst work-related injuries occur as a result of the same action (movement) you've done for months or years. In many cases, these injuries gradually worsen over time until you notice when a discomfort or severe pain comes out, numbness and/or loss of limb strength that is being used constantly (your elbows, wrists, hands or fingers, legs, feet). Sometimes you get used to living with it that you forget you have it.
SYMPTOMS OF RSI
Inflammation from repetitive strain injury can cause tightness, lack of mobility, pain, soreness, and/or burning in the wrists, hands, fingers, forearms, or elbows. Nerve damage can result in tingling and numbing of the hands, often reported as feeling cold. This pain and nerve damage can cause a loss of strength and mobility of the hands and can lead to a loss of coordination and clumsiness. It can lead to very disruptive pain, linked to insomnia, and can be linked very closely with working on a computer.
Since eliminating computer usage is not really an option due to the number of everyday tasks being migrated to the internet, preventing repetitive strain injury is very important. What can we do to combat this situation? Anyone can apply and combine these tips, as one symptom is related to another.
If you sit at a desk, follow the traditional advice from parents and teachers: Sit up straight and don’t slouch! Good posture (avoiding slouching, hunching forward C-shaped), is the key to avoiding unnecessary stress on your muscles. This takes practice and mindfulness.
Surely the best remedy is to reduce working hours, but, if there is no other option, the best solution at the moment is to take frequent breaks and learn to properly use the work equipment: keyboards, mouse, and ergonomic chair with lumbar curvature, arms, pedestals, computer screens, cushioned shoes, (ladies with a heel of one to two inches), dispose of good lightning. Adjust your work station to promote good posture and comfort. Educate yourself about the right way to apply ergonomics for the workplace.
- Sit in a chair that gives you support for your lower back and keep your feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, and your hands, wrists, and forearms should be aligned. Your elbows should be in line with your keyboard to avoid strain.
- Avoid sitting cross-legged.
- If possible, spend some of your computer time at a standing desk. Slowly increase the amount of time you stand, aiming for 20–30 minutes each hour or more.
- Use an ergonomically designed keyboard and mouse, and taking breaks from typing and massaging the hands, wrists, and forearms can be very helpful as preventative measures.
- Place your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from you. The screen should be at eye level so you’re looking straight ahead.
- If you’re on the phone a lot, use a headset to avoid straining your neck, shoulders, and arms.
There are also many exercises you can do to improve your posture.
Get up from the chair every 20 minutes. If you work more than four hours a day in front of a computer, driving, on the phone, or even standing, it will be rare that after a few years you do not develop some kind of damage to your bones and muscles.
Taking frequent breaks from your desk throughout the day is as important as having an ergonomic workstation, get up to stretch or walk around. Frequent breaks should include exercise and relaxation. Starting the day (and during), take a deep breath several times trying to relax the tense area of the body, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Slowly turn your neck looking right and left, toward the ceiling and on the floor five repetitions each.
Do shoulder stretches at your desk. Up and down your shoulders, like saying, “and then?”. This stimulates circulation in the neck and shoulders.
For your arms, wrists, hands and fingers, get a rubber ball and squeeze 5 times each side. wiggle your fingers, flex your wrists, and move your hands by spinning the joints of your fist in all directions.
For the legs and feet, seated, straighten one knee at a time and move each feet in a circular shape to the right and then to the left, get up and march in place.
Wince and laugh to relax your facial muscles.
For the back, better at home, before leaving the house (preferably as soon as you wake up) and at night, is to lie on your back and bring your legs to your chest for 10 seconds, one at a time, then both. You must repeat these movements every 3 hours or sooner if your body asks.
Don't say: I don't have time! "Lost" time in the long run is time gained in your quality of health.” In addition, once you create the habit, it is super simple and invigorating. If your co-workers look at you weird, tell them what they're missing, they may be motivated to do it with you.
Those may sound like little things, but mini breaks can make a big difference in preventing RSI.
If you find yourself already battling RSI, or are a candidate to suffer from RSI, there are a few things you can do to help with the pain. Hand massages using a tennis ball are great for hitting pressure points, hot and cold compresses are notably soothing, and anti-inflammatory supplements are great for reducing swelling. Copper and magnetic therapy jewelry are great options to encourage blood flow to the joints.
Visit a doctor in chiropractic regularly. A good adjustment helps you balance your skeleton, muscles and nervous system. Some complement it with therapeutic massage in their clinics. And they may recommend a rehabilitation program to help prevent further injuries, as to stretch and strengthen the area.
Supplement your body with natural muscle relaxants that do not cause sleep, antioxidants and vitamin B complex. Have hot or cold topical pain analgesics in your work area. Drink plenty of water.
Use orthopedic magnetic supports to assist you to protect and immobilize the area, relax those muscles and inflammations.
You have to have a good night's sleep, look for linden or chamomile tea, supplements with valerian and pasiflora and sleep with a magnetic eye mask, which while you block light, helps you produce your own melatonin.
If this has caused you anxiety: close your eyes and visualize a beautiful panorama of the countryside or the beach. Avoid chemicals, replace with natural formulas. Learn to breathe many times a day.
If you're tired, you have to go out in the sun for a little while. Sunlight helps the body produce mood-enhancing Serotonin and gives vitamin D that helps your immune system, so it's energizing! Look at your diet, supplements, how you sleep, the pillow you use and look at all the electrical devices near you. Apply magnetic field in your daily life.
Disconnect from work when you get home. Put your body and mind in another mood, so you can stay and start relaxed the next day.
Health Magnetic Store & More RSI Relieve Options:
By: Dr. Irma I. Sierra, 2020
The author is a doctor in Chiropractic and an expert in the field of Biomagnetism. For more information visit or call Health Magnetic Store 787.782.5767 or Clínica Quiropráctica Jarrot Sierra at 787.277-5967, located next to each other.
What will you'll find in our chiropractic clinic?
- Full Assessment of Your Nervous and Musculoskeletal System with latest technology.
- Chiropractic Adjustments to remove nerve interference suited for each person.
- PEMF or Electro-Magnetic Therapy.
- Cold Laser Therapy.
- Hydromassage therapy.
- Recommendations of therapies, supplements, magnets and more to follow at your home or office that accelerates your healing capabilities.
Visit Clínica Quiropráctica Jarrot Sierra website: www.tuquiropracticopr.com in San Juan area.
HEALTH CHIROPRACTIC & MORE in Canovanas or Ponce area: https://www.tucolumnahabla.com