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Tips to Prevent RSI (Repetitive Stress Injuries)

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We’ve all heard of carpal tunnel syndrome and words like “blackberry thumb” or “gamers thumb.” If you aren’t familiar with these terms, obviously blackberry thumb is the over and continual use of your Blackberry! Gamers Thumb happens often to people who play video games constantly and use their thumb in the same repetitive position on the game controller.

Sometimes the beginning stages of carpal tunnel are repetitive stress injuries or RSI. The acronym RSI is used mostly in office environments due to keyboard use, Blackberry overuse as well as other office tools such as calculators. RSI can cause pain in the wrist, fingers, and arm due to the repetitive things or actions we all do each day—all day long. We found some good tips to use to prevent RSI at the office.

  • Try taking breaks at work if you work a lot on a keyboard. Some companies are using software and videos to remind their workers that it’s time to take a break. These videos and software also offer many exercises you can do that help prevent RSI symptoms while you are taking your break.
  • Because RSI develops mostly in the wrist from your repetitive actions, you can exercise your wrist by moving your hands in a circular motion. Essentially, any movement you do during a break that is unlike the repetitive movement you are doing is recommended.
  • Offices are investing in ergonomic keyboards to prevent wrist pain and other RSI symptoms. Ask your company about ergonomic keyboards as well as ergonomic workstations and chairs.
  • Seek out a good wrist support. There are many out there that range from moderate support to strong support. If you aren’t sure which wrist support is best for you, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
  • Try wearing your wrist support at night. When we sleep at night, often we move our wrists in curving or bent positions that can cause RSI. Many people experience pain during their sleep period because of what they are feeling in their wrist. While we know it can be cumbersome, if you wear your wrist brace while sleeping, you can reap the rewards when you awake.
  • During you break, if you don’t have any recommended exercises, try stretching muscles in the opposite angles you have been using them in. If you are leaning too much toward your monitor, do a simple Yoga sun salutation where you bend at the knees, put your arms and hands in front of you and slowly bring yourself up and lean back. Don’t overdo if you’ve never done one before, but sun salutations can be gold for back and neck pain associated with RSI.
  • Last, but important, try to do some warm up exercises before you begin your day at the workstation. Do some research on the Internet on good warm up stretches for RSI. This can help loosen up muscles and keep you feeling good.

There are many tips for RSI and the symptoms they cause. Trying some of these may help you relieve your wrist, neck, head, and back pain.