Common Repetitive Strain Injuries

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Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI's) in the workplace are about as common as a beer holder hat at a NASCAR event! From office workers to grocery clerks, dental assistants to custodians, Repetitive Strain Injuries are affecting millions of people everywhere and from all walks of life. The question is this - why are Repetitive Strain Injuries so rampant and what are some of the most common injuries existing in today's workforce?

Computers and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive Strain Injuries have become more prominent the past 10-years due to increased unidirectional movement patterns that, in turn, cause a muscle imbalance. Muscle imbalances exist when one muscle group is stronger and shorter than its opposing muscle group. For example, if the biceps becomes stronger and shorter than the triceps muscle, there is unequal pull on both sides of the joint, which can increase stress to the joint that these muscles cross - which in this case is the elbow joint.

   

Unequal stress applied to opposing sides of any joint causes unequal pressure and impingement of underlying structures on the side where the muscles are stronger and shorter, or tensile stress to the side of the joint where the muscles are longer and weaker. Over time, this unequal stress to the joint will eventually cause one of two types of Repetitive Strain Injury to occur.

Impingement / Compression RSI:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer Elbow)
Cubital Tunnel
Guyon's Syndrome
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Tensile Strain RSI:
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
Hand Strain
DeQuervain's Syndrome

It is important for these two types of Repetitive Strain Injury are addressed as quickly as possible and in the following manner:

Impingement / Compression RSI's: Stretch and lengthen the stronger and shorter muscles while strengthening their weaker counterpart.

Tensile Strain RSI's: Strengthen the weak, underdeveloped muscles crossing the affected joint.

Remember to always consult a physician regarding your healthcare needs!