Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI): Ways To Take Care Of Your Texting Thumb
RSI is one commonplace set of disorders that affect working professionals, notably those using computers for prolonged periods. However, it can also affect sportsmen and teens who are addicted to texting. The severity of inflammation and pain caused by types of RSI can vary. It takes place because certain tissues and muscles in body get over stressed and owing to repetition those stressed parts cannot recover. Most of the instances can be handled with lifestyle changes and rarely surgical intervention is required. Affected lot may have to cope with diminished capacity to do daily chores. Medications may be given to reduce pain and swelling temporarily. Some victims also resort to cold packs and physiotherapy for relief and light exercises can be of help as well. Doctors say that early intervention and adopting preventive outlook is the ideal way to cope with RSI types. At times, the victims may benefit from changing job types.
In life, various types of ailments and physiological conditions can affect women and men. However, not all disorders or ailments are caused by germs, virus and similar microorganism. Neither do they have their roots in genetics. Some specific disorders crop up owing to lifestyle habits and the type of job a person does. One such example is Repetitive strain injury. This does not lead to very serious outcomes but lack of treatment can prove to be tedious for the affected lot. These injuries occur when a part of your body is stressed beyond its capacity of endurance. The stress is generated by repetition of same movements and activities for prolonged period.
Nuances of Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
As a matter of fact, a majority of victims of Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) are young professionals, notably in their twenties and thirties. However, it also affects women and men from elderly lot and teenagers. These are caused mostly by sitting in front of computers in a fixed posture for long hours and using the keyboards with fingers for a long time. However, indulging in sports involving making repeated body movements can also trigger this condition in some people. The most affected body parts include wrist, fingers, palms and tendons. Those who play lots of video games are also prone to developing these injuries. The term Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) actually covers over 100 different types of injuries triggered by repetitive wear and tear of body parts. The severity varies from one victim to another.
Some of the major RSI variants include carpal tunnel syndrome, Epicondylitis, bursitis, Shin splints, Tendonitis.
Main causes of RSI
The injuries are caused by repetitive movements stressing out body parts for prolonged duration. The excessive stress does not let the affected body parts recover leading to damaged cells and tissues. In most cases, the results are pain, inflammation and swelling.
Apart from using keyboards of computers and mobile devices excessively, some other activities and lifestyle habits can lead to development of Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI). These include wearing inapt sized shoes that stress your ankles, carrying heavy items day long, texting all day long etc. A lot of the times, health experts refer to RSI as Text Messaging Injury owing to its growing occurrence in teenagers.
Symptoms of repetitive strain injury
The major symptoms of RSI are:
- Numbness and pain in affected part of body
- Stiffness of muscles in back or legs
- Fatigue in legs and hands
For some victims the symptoms persist for long while for others, RSI symptoms recur less frequently.
Diagnosis of Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
There exists no special test to confirm RSI. Diagnosis actually is a challenge because the same symptoms can be triggered by onset of various other injuries and ailments. Conditions that can be confused with RSI include Spondylosis, osteoarthritis and some musculoskeletal disorders.
However, doctors examine medical history of the patients and examine the affected regions to figure out if it is a case of Thumb joint pain or something else. In most cases, x-ray or MRI is not conducted. In fact, MRI scans can be more helpful to detect tissue and muscle damage.
Treatment for texting thumb and other types of RSI
Below listed are the treatment choices for RSI:
The best treatment option for healing Texting Thumb and other type of RSI is offering adequate rest to the affected body part. This helps the stressed body part to recover and symptoms will be less pronounced gradually. To control the pain, muscle stiffness and numbness other options can be availed.
while using medication is no long term solution to combat Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI), in some cases doctors advise using painkiller and anti inflammatory medications. This is advisable when the symptoms become severe and rest alone cannot alleviate the pain.
To ease pain caused at body joints, application of hot compress or cold pack can help.
More intensive options:
In cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, using steroid injections and surgeries can be required.
a lot of RSI victims have resorted to physiotherapy and acupuncture for relief. These may help in relieving symptoms temporarily but there is hardly any scientific evidence that resorting to these methods can bring long term relief.
Preventive approach for RSI
RSI can affect various types of people and preventive approach is the easiest way to deal with it, say the experts. It is best if you approach a medical expert when the symptoms can be felt.
It is recommended to change the type of activities that are leading to Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI), in this regard. Using an ergonomic chair that offers better back and lumber support can help. Using a keyboard with armrest or suitable softer mouse pad can also be helpful. Adjusting viewing angle of the monitor can also be required. At times, you may benefit from a job change.
Indulging in activities that offer relief to stressed muscles and joints can also be helpful for the affected lot. For example, Light exercise, jogging or swimming can be helpful. Doing stretching exercises can help too.
If you find wearing certain type of sandal or shoe is causing ankle pain or cramp in leg muscles, do not delay. Change the footwear and get a pair of shoes that fit your feet quite well and have ergonomic design.
You may think of taking additional nutrient based supplements to strengthen bone and muscles. Taking calcium supplements can be helpful to keep Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) at bay. However, it is better you talk with one of the best physiotherapists in Delhi before taking any supplement.
Summing it all up
RSI is not difficult to cope with as long as you understand the root cause leading to its variants. To treat tendonitis or other variants, making specific lifestyle changes and using suitable accessories can be of help. However, in certain cases like Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, surgical intervention may be needed. Adopting a preventive approach is actually the best way to evade the disorder and lead a healthy life.