A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is caused by the overuse, or repetitive movement of a muscle or tendon.
This overuse could be caused by your daily activities, by playing a particular sports or by what you do at work.
You don’t have to deal with the problem on your own. Our doctors are here to help. Once they understand what has caused your RSI, they will be able to offer you practical advice and suggest effective treatment and techniques to avoid further complications.
Common causes of a RSI
It’s not always clear why an RSI develops in some people, but common causes can 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
- Lifting heavy objects
- Using vibrating tools or equipment at work
- Not getting enough exercise
- Working in the cold
- Stress at work - this can mean you’re tensing your muscles without realising
Sports that may lead to a RSI
This is not a full list. Any sport that means you’re doing the same activity over and over increases your risk of a RSI. Make sure you take regular rest breaks while participating in these kinds of sports, to let your muscles and tendons recover.
Jobs that may lead to RSI
- Production line work
- Office jobs, where you’re sat at a desk for most of the day
- Working with power tools
This is not a full list. Any job that means you’re doing the same activity over and over increases your risk of a RSI. It’s important to take regular short breaks - speak to your employer, as they can help recommend ways to avoid a RSI in your role.
- Dr Laurence Knott & Dr Adrian Bonsall. Patient Info, Repetitive Strain Injury, 06/07/2017.
- NHS, Repetitive strain injury (RSI):Diagnosis, 27/01/2016.
- Marjorie Hect & Dr Alana Biggers. Healthline, Everything You Should Know About Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), 09/03/2017.
- Tim Newman & Dr Gregory Minnis. Medical News Today, Repetitive strain injury (RSI) explained, 19/01/2018.
- Amanda Rabb, Study.com, Basic Nursing Training: Repetitive Strain Injury: Definition & Types, 2018.