What is RSI or Repetitive Strain / Stress Injury?
A repetitive strain injury (RSI), sometimes referred to as repetitive stress injury, is a gradual buildup of damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves from repetitive motions. RSIs are common and may be caused by many different types of activities, including: using a computer mouse or typing.
As a reflexologist whose livelihood depends on the health of my hands I am naturally fascinated with the functionality and issues of wrists, hands and lower arms caused by repetitive movements, actions or in fact the lack of movement.
During the lockdown I developed a unique guided hand reflexology program for my corporate clients to relieve the effects of the pandemic and social distancing. These workshops are based on a reflexology treatment where we always begin with gentle relaxing and stretching moves.
Over the past 18 months I saw a huge improvement in my clients’ employees’ hand and wrist mobility and my own so much so that I developed a new shorter programme for therapists and corporate clients where I demonstrate my most popular and effective Relaxing, Stretching and Breathing exercises to relieve symptoms of arthritis, RSI and improve wrist and hand mobility.
Despite being widely documented online, RSI is still a fairly uncared for condition. Very few wellness providers offer solutions and even less companies are offering these as I found out during my workshop, including the recent workshop for the Irish Reflexologists Institute.
Why is hand and wrist mobility in the office important? For one if your hands or wrists are stiff and sore, you’ll find certain moves difficult. But more importantly chronic pain can significantly impede focus and performance, not to mention the sick days when someone is incapable of attending to their tasks.
According to the Journal, sick leave costs Irish businesses a whopping € 1.5 billion per year.
But how can you get injured in an office job?
For one, anyone can get RSI simply from typing or clicking their mouse for longer periods. As its name suggests RSI is caused by repetitive movements that are (over)straining tendons, muscles and ligaments of our extremities, such as underarms, wrists and hands.
CPS or Constrained Posture Syndrome on the other hand seems to suggest exactly the opposite, but essentially has the same effect.
If you experience either in your lower arms, wrists or hands for an extended period any of the following:
pain, aching or tenderness.
tingling or numbness.
it is possible that you are overstraining some part of your body.
What can you do?
Your first port of call should be your medical advisor. Anti inflammatory over the counter medication can oppress the symptoms at least for a while but best is prevention. Using specific exercises designed to improve hand and wrist mobility in the office, to relieve symptoms of RSI and CPS as well as arthritis can not only help you and your colleagues to prevent these conditions but also relieve existing symptoms without medication.
At this point, however, I would like to highlight that if you are taking medication for a pre-existing complaint, keep taking it until your medical advisor tells otherwise and use the exercises as a complementary treatment.
What can Happy Feet Reflexology do for you and your organisation?
Our internationally acclaimed Breath, Relax and Stretch workshop is designed to improve mobility and circulation, release tension in the body and mind, relieve symptoms of RSI and arthritis while being fun, relaxing and more importantly increasing performance and positive communication within the organisation.You can book a free discovery call to find out more about our packages. You can get tickets for Network Ireland’s National Conference day on the 8th October where among other inspiring speakers Happy Feet Reflexology’s founder, Anita Siegl will demonstrate what our Breath, Relax and Stretch workshop is all about.