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What is a RSI?

A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is caused by the overuse, or repetitive movement of a muscle or tendon. It can lead to pain in your muscles, tendons or nerves.

Our online doctors are available to discuss your situation with you, identify what’s causing your pain  and recommend the most suitable treatment for you.

RSI symptoms

RSI symptoms can range from mild irritation to severe pain and swelling in the affected area. The condition commonly affects the neck, shoulders, elbows, arms, wrists, hands and fingers.

Common symptoms of RSI include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tightness
  • Swelling
  • Tingling (like pins and needles)
  • Numbness

Read a comprehensive list of RSI symptoms.

RSI diagnosis

Our doctors are available at a time that is convenient to you, they will listen to your symptoms and suggest the most suitable treatment. They will usually be able to diagnose RSI by going through your symptoms with you.

It is useful for the doctor to know if there are certain activities that make the problem worse. If you have tried resting and it hasn’t helped or over the counter medications are not helping to relieve the pain, let the doctor know.

In some cases, the doctor will need to refer you for further tests. This will make sure that it is not another condition that is causing your symptoms.

The doctor will be able to prescribe any necessary medications and, if needed, refer you to a specialist for tests and further treatment.

For more information about what will happen during your consultation, click here.

RSI causes

You can develop RSI for a number of reasons. Some of the causes include:

  • Repetitive movement or activities
  • Not taking enough rest breaks while carrying out a repetitive activity
  • Having a poor posture, or staying in the same position for a long time
  • Working in an awkward position

Read more about what may trigger and cause RSI.

RSI treatment

RSI treatment will usually consist of a number of things, these can include:

  • Avoiding the repetitive movement or activity causing the RSI
  • Painkillers
  • Ice or heat packs
  • Rest
  • Splints
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physiotherapy
  • Surgery

To make sure you get better as quickly as possible, your treatment will be tailored to you. This is why it helps our doctors to have as much information as you are able to give them. Find out more about how RSI can be treated.