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?
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
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Tensile Strain RSI:
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
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
Remember to always consult a physician regarding
your healthcare needs!