Repetitive1 Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness
February28, 2014 is marked as International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, dedicated to RSI education and prevention. RSI are also known as Musculo-skeletal Disorders or MSD’s. It was established on February 29,2000. That day was selected because it was the only non-repetitive day of the year, in non-leap years it is observed on 28th Feb
It is a real and present danger in today’s high technology driven life with new age IT gadgets & gizmos like computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones, various hand-held devices etc in work or leisure activities. RSI is a collective term for a variety of motion-induced, painful unbearable disorders that result from damage to muscles, nerves, tendons, and nerves due to delayed cyclic activity. If injuries are neglected and untreated for a long time, they could require surgery.
Causes & Risk Factors
” You may be at risk for developing an RSI if you have: “
- ” Improper technique “
- Excessive Use a computer, laptops, hand held devices (Blackberry & Gamers Thumb)
- Don’t take frequent breaks
- Don’texercise regularly
- ” Working high-pressure environment “
- Have arthritis, diabetes, thyroid diseases
- ” Have anun healthy, stressful,or sedentary life style”
- ” Weigh more than you should”
- ” Improper work station setup(i.e.,Â keyboard too high, monitor too high,lowor off too neside) “
- Awkward positionsÂ (i.e.,Â typingÂ whileÂ usingÂ the telephone,reaching for the mouse)
Symptoms of RSI
The most commonly noticed symptoms of RSI areas follows:
- Tingling numbness or a burning sensation
- “Reduced grip strength”
- Swelling or stiffness in the joints
- Reduced range of motion
- “Tension, headaches”
- Social Disconnect
Keep in mind; however, you can have severe RSI without experiencing pain. The following check list can help you determine whether you have RSI .
Do you experience?
Do you experience?
- Fatigue or lack of endurance
- Weakness in the hands or forearms
- “Tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation”
- Heaviness: Do your hands feel like dead weight?
- Clumsiness: Do you keep dropping things?
- Frequent self-massage (subconsciously)
- “Lack of strength in your hands. Is it harder to open jars? Cut vegetables?”
- Lack of control or coordination
- Avoid using the injured hand
- “Use your non-dominant hand more frequently”
- “Keep dropping things.”
- Have trouble with keys, putting on jewelry or brushing teeth?
- If you experience any of these warning signs of RSI, see your health care provider immediately.
However, there are some general & specific precautions which can be taken to prevent the on set of RSI. Good posture is Crucial Good posture is when you are seating in such away that the effort required to work at computer is minimized. The following is the check list to identify it:
- Feet: flat on the floor “
- “Knees: directly over feet, bent at right angles (or slightly greater), with a couple inches of space from the chair”
- “Pelvis: rocked forward, sitting on the” “sitz bones,” ” with hips positioned no lower than, and perhaps slightly higher than the knees”
- Lower back: arched in, and supported.
- “Upperback: naturally rounded”
- “Shoulders, arms: relaxed, at side.”
- “Neck: arched in, relaxed, supported by spine. “
- Head: balancing gently on top of spine.
Don’t use really small fonts!It leads to poor posture and eye strain. Laptop computers present a two-fold risk.
They can not be adjusted, so the hands, neck and head can not be properly placed. As far as possible use laptop by increasing its height with help of laptop stand which are easily available in market these days. A separate keyboard and mouse should be used when working with them.
Proper technique: typing, using mouse and writing
There are three keys to proper typing technique.
- Keep your wrists straight:the straighter your wrists,the less strain you put on the tendon sandnerves of wrist.
- Let your hands float:Don’t rest your wrists on the desk, keyboard.Let them hover over the keys.
- Don’t strain your fingers:Try not to hit keys on keyboard too force fully.Use computer keyboard short cuts.
Few General tips to reduce risk of RSI
- TAKE BREAKS! Every hour or so, getup and walk around, stretch tight muscles.
- Use computer judiciously. Don’t email people instead walk down to them. It’s not only better for your hands-it’s friendlier.
- “All computer/gaming/gadget used at home should be severely restricted or eliminated or minimized if you work with computers during the day.”
- To prevent eye strain follow 20-20-20 rule i.e.every 20 minutes, look at distant object at 20 feet distance for 20 seconds.
- “If you work a lot on telephones, don’t cradle the telephone between the face and shoulder while working, as this can lead to neck strain”
- Realize that you are not invincible listen to your body. RSI can happen to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Do regular exercises, get adequate sleep, drink enough water, and stop smoking. Do appropriate stretching exercise sat desk.