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With a RSI, at first, the pain is usually only felt when carrying out the repetitive movements. The pain usually develops over time, and can range from being mild to very severe.

As the injury gets worse, and if you continue with the repetitive movement, the pain may last for longer, or become constant.

The condition commonly affects the neck, shoulders, elbows, arms, wrists, hands and fingers.

RSI symptoms

The most common symptoms of RSI include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tightness
  • Swelling
  • Tingling (like pins and needles)
  • Numbness
  • Cramp
  • Tenderness
  • Weakness
  • A dull ache
  • A throbbing pain
  • Sharp, shooting pain
  • Loss of sensation

How the symptoms of RSI can affect your daily life

As we mentioned, when you first develop RSI, the pain may only be present when carrying out certain activities and the pain may be mild. However, if left untreated it can cause the condition to worsen, and lead to more severe, or more regular pain.

Learning to live with, and manage RSI pain on a daily basis, can become stressful. You may find the pain gets worse at certain times, or you may have to stop carrying out certain activities. For example, you could start to feel numbness or become less able to grip things if your wrist or fingers are affected.

Seeking treatment as early as possible will help you to get things under control before they start affecting your life too much.

What happens next?

If you recognise these symptoms and think that you may have a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and you’re finding it difficult to cope, it’s recommended that you see a doctor.

They’ll listen to your symptoms and get a good understanding of your situation. They’ll be able to provide an expert diagnosis that will take you a step closer to getting the correct treatment. The doctor will be able to rule out similar conditions and refer you to a specialist for treatment or tests if needed.