What is a Repetitive Stress Injury of the Hand & Wrist?

Here’s a crazy fact about our hands:  there are more than 25 bones found in each hand!  They are an intricate array of muscles, nerves, tendons and bones.  Hands are truly engineering marvels allowing us to play an instrument or drive a car.  Yet the complexities of the hand also make them that much more susceptible to injuries, particularly to repetitive stress injuries (also known as RSI).  Although a repetitive stress injury is not life threatening, RSI can be quite painful and debilitating.

The name does accurately explain what you probably think it is:  a repetitive stress injury is a general term used to describe the pain felt in nerves, muscles and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse.  Often, a repetitive stress injury is related to a task or occupation, but leisure activities can also be the culprit.

What are the common causes of repetitive stress injury?

  • poor posture or holding the same posture on a continuous basis
  • repetitive activities
  • doing a high-intensity activity for a long period of time with no rest
  • cold temperatures
  • vibrating equipment
  • stress
  • fatigue
  • typing at a computer
  • prolonged periods of work without taking a break
  • direct pressure or a blow to the body
  • carrying heavy loads on a repeated basis

At Desert Hand Therapy, we make the health of your hands our priority.  Schedule an appointment today to learn about preventative tips, effective hand exercises or to treat a hand injury.

Symptoms of the affected area can include:

  • tightness
  • pain
  • dull ache
  • throbbing
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • swelling
  • tingling
  • stiffness
  • weakness and sensitivity to cold or heat

How Desert Hand Therapy Can Treat a Repetitive Stress Injury

If you are suffering from a repetitive stress injury, we’re here for you.  We may treat your injury with one of the following:

  • rest
  • icing
  • splinting
  • elevation
  • anti-inflammatory medication
  • a splint or wrap
  • hand exercises
  • stretching and light weightlifting
  • changing or modifying work or personal activities to lessen the stress on the affected area
  • proper posture techniques

Can You Prevent a Repetitive Stress Injury?

You can lower your risk of a repetitive stress injury by learning the basics of proper posture and positioning for standing, bending and sitting.  Other ways you can prevent a repetitive stress injury may include:

  • taking frequent breaks throughout the day
  • getting some exercise
  • making sure your desk equipment is set up properly and adjusted to your specifications
  • placing both feet flat on the floor and sitting upright in your chair
  • using an ergonomic keyboard and mouse

For treatment or more effective ways to prevent a repetitive stress injury, schedule an appointment with Desert Hand Therapy today.  

New Patient Scheduling Call or Text: (602) 231-8511