Motion Mondays – Preventing Injuries When Sitting At Your Desk

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is the general word that is used to describe the prolonged pain experienced in shoulders or hands or neck or arms.

Repetitive Strain Injury is the common word used for referring the types of soft tissue injuries like the nerve spasms, trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome. The term Repetitive Strain Injury is generally used to describe the overused syndrome associated with particular repetitive activity. They are generally caused by the work-associated activities such as using computer keyboards and mouse. The term includes a group of disorders that most commonly develop in workers using excessive and repetitive motions of the head and neck extremity.

Repetitive Strain Injury occurs when the movable parts of the limbs are injured. Repetitive Strain Injury usually caused due to repetitive tasks, incorrect posture, stress and bad ergonomics. Repetitive Strain Injury generally causes numbness, tingling, weakness, stiffing, and swelling and even nerve damage. The chief complaint is the constant pain in the upper limbs, neck, shoulder and back.

There are methods of stretch and movement that can be done to help protect you from the pain of RSI. We must remember to first address the workstation (see our previous Blog) and then make sure you move to keep healthy. The following exercises will help you stay painfree.

As with all exercise, you need to listen to your body, keep the back of the neck and spine lengthened and the rib cage lifted. Remember to breathe as you work with the different exercises.

Finger & Wrist Stretch

Benefits:

  • Loosens stiff fingers, hands and wrists
  • Completed daily for a few months, hands will become more flexible

Step 1: Starting with the right hand gently extend the fingers back one by one.
Step 2: Then take them all back at the same time . This helps to stretch open your palm. Repeat several times.

Step 3: Take your thumb back towards your wrist. Then bring it forwards, stretching gently and firmly. Never force it.

Finish by making a fist and slowly opening it, stretching your fingers and thumb out as far as you.

Step 4: Put your palms together, fingers pointing upwards, as if you were praying. Stretch your fingers and press palms together strongly. Keep the base of your palms pressing together, as you gradually lower your hands until your lower arms are horizontal.
Step 5: Then take your hands down still further, fingers and upper palms together. You should feel the stretch on the insides of your fingers and wrists. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat.

A short video will help you understand why the pain changes and what makes it so sore.For further information on how to prevent and heal these injuries, contact your therapist at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic

By Dana Clark