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Profile and treatments
Osteopathy for Repetitive Strain Injuries
The term “repetitive strain injury” (or also known simply as RSI) is reserved for injuries resulting from overuse and most often involves the arms and hands.
RSI can happen on one side of the body (unilateral) or on both sides (bilateral) and can be referred to additionally as repetitive stress injury, repetitive motion injury, repetitive motion disorder (RMD), regional musculoskeletal disorder, occupational overuse syndrome, overuse syndrome, upper limb disorder (ULD) and cumulative trauma disorder (CTD).
There are multiple types of repetitive strain injuries and they can vary from carpal tunnel syndrome to tendonitis. Repetitive strain injuries are most often caused by the overuse of certain muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons.
Certain movements can trigger symptoms and repetitive strain disorder is often aggravated
and even caused by non-ergonomic work stations. People working on assembly lines or those who complete multiple overhead extensions a day such as throwing athletes are also prone to develop these conditions. Forceful exertions, prolonged positions and mechanical compressions like pressing part of the body against a hard surface such as a wrist on a hard desk while holding a computer mouse can also all be causes of various repetitive strain injuries.
Since there are so many different kinds of RSI, it’s difficult to list specific symptoms. They can typically range from located tenderness, a pulsating/throbbing sensation, sharp or dull pain or a “pins and needles” feeling. Sometimes, sufferers even experience a loss of strength and/or sensation in their hands. This can be especially bothersome if it happens to be in the person’s dominant hand or if they are required to use their hands often for work.
Because of the many resulting conditions from repetitive strain injuries, treating them requires an experienced and earnest osteopath. Elissa Gustafson, DOMP and Carolyn Smith, DOMP perform osteopathy at the Ottawa Holistic Health Centre and have years of experience with RSI ranging from occupational to athletic causes. Often, Elissa and Maria find their patients also include chiropractic, massage therapy, athletic therapy and physical therapy in their repetitive strain injury treatment plans hoping for more rapid relief.