Repetitive strain disorders or injuries (RSIs) are among the most challenging conditions to treat and are frequently encountered in clinic. Often the nature of the majority of our work or pass times are repetitive and the likelihood of developing overuse injuries exists everyday in our work and social lives. If you are attending a chartered physiotherapist for assessment of an injury which you feel may be a repetitive strain injury, it’s important that you divulge information on the nature of your work, the types of hobbies that you have and any pass times that you’re engaged in. A thorough physiotherapist should ask these questions naturally as part of the initial assessment and can perhaps advise you on ways to prevent the development of repetitive strain injuries.
Musicians, practicing up to four hours a day or more, are among the most likely individuals to develop repetitive strain disorders. All musical instruments from guitar to tuba or drums necessitate repetitive playing actions and intensive practice carries with it the risk of developing injuries as a result. Recurrent neck or shoulder pain is common for example in guitarists, while tennis elbow or other upper limb conditions often affect other types of musicians. Simple posture and stretching advice from a chartered physiotherapist can often be all it takes to remedy these recurring aches and pains.
Posture advice and comprehensive ergonomic assessment of work spaces is also often necessary to prevent repetitive strain disorders in our work lives. Draftsmen, programmers and other workers who intensively use computers, keyboards and mice are at particular risk of repetitive strain disorder from conditions in their workplaces. Intervening at the earliest signs or symptoms of a problem and taking corrective action as soon as possible is the key to preventing the development of chronic or recurring problems of this nature.