Dealing with RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)

How to Avoid Repetitive Strain Injury ( RSI )

The work pattern of an office executive carries plenty of orthopedic issues – the main complaint is discomfort in the upper limbs, neck, shoulders, and back.

Experts say that repetitive strain injury is an injury of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be the result of repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, pressing against hard surfaces (mechanical compression), or sustained or awkward positions. Conditions such as RSI tend to be linked to both physical and psychosocial stress.

Repetitive Strain InjuryRepetitive Strain Injury ( RSI ) is usually caused by repetitive use of a certain part of the body, often somewhere in the upper limbs (arms). The user experiences sustained pain in the hands, elbows, shoulders, neck, and the back. The hand movements of the user may become awkward and the individual could find it tough even to button up shirts.

The common diagnoses seen in this group are Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tenosynovitis, Bursitis, White Limb, and Shoulder discomfort. A major cause is strain due to long unbroken times of work. Ergonomics or the absence of it, plays a vital role. Absence of info about RSI leads to neglect by the person suffering the pain, when they should be seeking medical advise when initial symptoms set in.

Preventative Measures at Individual Level include:

Posture : The recommended posture to sit in front of a PC is semi-reclined with the forearms resting in a cradle or on an extension of the keyboard support. There should be sufficient support for the back. The feet should rest on the ground or feet support. The distance of the monitor should be eighteen inches or even more and at a marginally lower level than eye-level.

Hydration : Drink sufficient liquids to keep the tendons and soft tissues soft.

Fast solutions : Use keyboard key combinations rather than mouse. Touch the keyboard softly and don’t pound at it. The wrist should rest on the table or wrist rest.

Messages : Do not use the PC while conveying messages in real life or through the intercom.

No games : Games or surfing at work may increase stress on your hands.

Preventative Measures at the Organisational Level :

Businesses that use computers in a large way can also adopt certain preventative measures.These include :

1. Train the staff on the significance of adopting a correct posture.

2. Ensure that all of your staff are using quality efficient furniture that may save loss of working hours by guaranteeing full comfort of the workers.

3. Give continual reminders through workshops and audio-visual displays by expert medics on the significance of taking care of health while using PCs. When symptoms set in, consult an medical professional.

In cases identified early, attention to ergonomics will in most cases relieve the symptoms and have the injured person back to normal. In cases diagnosed late, orthopedic treatment like injections and even minor surgery could be required.

Remember that all of the PC related perils aren’t going to impede your life in a short timespan. But it could take years to show the symptoms. Prevention is always better than cure.

Consult with Urban Group on your Office Ergonomics to prevent injury to your staff, and promote a safer, healthier workplace. Phone 07 3620 8500 for your free consultation.