Typical signs and symptoms in RSI:
Sharp or shooting pain, aches and tenderness in or around the joints of the neck, shoulder, elbow or wrist. You might also experience:
- Tingling (Pins and Needles)
- Weakness, inability to grip
- Sensitivity to cold or heat
- Loss of sensation
Symptoms typically start gradually and worsen over time, with increasing repetition, but also may be worsened by extreme load or activity after work (example playing tennis or other activities which may over strain problematic areas).
In common RSI presentations symptoms usually get better during the days off from work, or during holidays where the routine of overuse has been changed. This will naturally allow the overworked tissues to heal.
At the initial start the symptoms are worse only when specific strenuous activity is taking place, affecting usually one area of upper extremity. However, over time the intensity of symptoms may increase and cause pain and discomfort in other parts of the upper extremity. This can create chain reactions and further dysfunction due to poor biomechanics and may cause pain in the neck. Without treatment, duration of pain may persist over months, with failing to recover during the time off from occupational repetitive strain. Symptoms can start to include behavioural changes such as:
- Avoiding using injured hand/arm
- Using non-dominant hand more often
- Changing the style of clothes, may be too difficult to put it on
- Not participating in sports or activities, which may increase the discomfort
- Being exceedingly protective of your hands
- Having trouble brushing teeth, chopping food, using keyboard or typing on phone.