Repetitive Stress Injury and Chiropractic Care


Repetitive stress injury is one of the modern day maladies that afflict many workers, both in the office and in the industries. Repetitive stress injury or RSI describes the condition resulting from too much stress placed on a joint in the body due to stress of repetitive motions at work, or even at play.


Some of these activities that induce stress of repetitive motions are sitting in front of a computer to work for almost eight hours everyday, performing a repetitive task in conjunction with an industrial machine day in and day out, playing a video game or playing or practicing for a game of tennis for hours.


The common health conditions resulting from RSI are injuries to the muscles, joints, tendons and nerves in the hands, back, neck, and eyes. They usually cause pain, numbness, weakness or motor control impairment in these parts of your body. Some of these are carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, ganglion cyst, cervical radiculopathy, epicondylitis and and reflex sympathetic dystrophy.


Motions of the body, no matter how seemingly simple they are, when repeated regularly hour after hour, and thousand of times, will eventually cause the muscles and tendons to strain and cause microscopic tears to your wrists, forearm, and fingers. The injury to the muscles causes them to contract, resulting in decreased range of motion. Tendons and the sheaths covering them are not given time to rest and run out of lubrication, resulting in chafing and pain. The abrasion in the tendons also results in inflammation, pinching the surrounding nerves, and ultimately to numbness, oversensitivity to touch or tingling sensation.        


Repetitive stress injury, sometimes called cumulative trauma disorder is caused by certain specific factors common to the disorder. They include overuse of particular muscles, poor posture, and use of vibrating equipment, working in cold temperatures, fatigue and carrying heavy loads. Psychological stress has been determined to worsen the condition.


There are several options in the treatment of RSI. Use of medications, physiotherapy, steroid injections and chiropractic care are a few of them.


Chiropractic Treatment of RSI


RSIs are conditions linked to the muscles, joints, tendons and nerves. They are clearly the domain of chiropractic care. Chiropractic care is concerned with promoting the person’s overall health and wellbeing through the treatment of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system.


When you visit your chiropractor for the diagnosis and treatment of RSI case, you will undergo interview by the chiropractic doctor to review your medical history and know the details of your complaints. An examination, which may include x-ray check and other methodologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will follow to find the underlying cause of your condition. If your diagnosis points to your having RSI, the chiropractor will develop a treatment plan considering all the inputs gathered earlier. This treatment plan will be specific to your condition, your needs and your life in general. In the treatment plan, certain options such as chiropractic adjustments in combination with stretching and strengthening exercise, ergonomics and nutrition advice may be included. The chiropractor is concerned not only with the treatment aspects of your RSI condition but with preventing its recurrence and with overall prevention healthcare. Your early detection of RSI in cooperation with your chiropractic doctor is best in preventing the more serious consequences of RSI.