Repetitive Strain Injury.

Essay by brunette25High School, 10th grade January 2006

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Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are a category of injuries involving damage to muscles, tendons and nerves caused by overuse or misuse. Any combination of the following things can lead to the overuse of some part of your body.

* Repetitive tasks: Small, rapid movements and/or tasks that are repeated over and over again

* Awkward or fixed postures: Working in an awkward position or retain the same position for a long time

* Forceful movements: Using strength or moving extreme loads to complete tasks

* Insufficient rest time: No time to relax during the above activities

The most common body parts affected by Repetitive strain injuries are the fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, arms, shoulders, back and neck. Other areas can be affected as well. Computer users suffer mostly from repetitive strain injuries to the hand, wrist, and arm. The symptoms of RSI include: (1) aching, (2) tenderness, (3) swelling, (4) pain, (5) crackling, (6) tingling, (7) numbness, (8) loss of strength, (9) loss of joint movement, and (10) decreased coordination in the injured area.

The key to RSI management is to remove an individual from the exposure that causes injury. Occasionally a physician will prescribe a medication to help reduce inflammation and pain. Regular follow-up visits with your health care provider should be scheduled to monitor your progress. People with more severe forms of Repetitive strain injuries may be referred by their medical provider to an occupational therapist who can do further evaluation and recommend a program of localized treatments, stretches, and exercises. If symptoms are allowed to progress, a person with RSI can have protracted or chronic symptoms. However, RSI can be prevented.

Repetitive strain injury affects both men and women. In 2003, 25 percent of women and 22 percent of men has or experienced RSI. It is very...