What is a Repetitive Strain Injury?
RSI is a soft tissue injury in which muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments or fascia become irritated and inflamed, usually as a result of cumulative trauma and overuse.
What can cause RSI?
RSIs can occur in any occupation that requires repetitive action:
- Repetitive acts with many small, rapid movements.
- Insufficient rest time between the repetitive tasks.
- Working in awkward positions for extended periods.
- Excessive and forceful movements, used too repetitively, to move loads, or to execute accelerated actions like lifting, running, hitting or throwing.
These stresses create tiny tears in the soft tissue, which then become inflamed. The body responds to inflammation by laying down scar tissue in an attempt to stabilize the area. Once this happens, an ongoing cycle begins that worsens the condition.
How prevalent is RSI?
RSIs account for more than 67 percent of all occupational injuries.1
What is the economic impact of RSIs?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 260,000 carpel tunnel release operations are performed each year. Forty-seven percent are considered work related.2 Repetitive strain injuries cost more than $110 billion per year in medical costs, lost wages and decreased productivity. RSI cases account for one out of every $3 spent for workers compensation.3 Employers spent $50.8 billion in 2003 on wage payments and medical care for workers hurt on the job; 47.9 percent of workers compensation losses came from overexertion (34.4 percent) and repetitive motion (13.5 percent)3. Thatâ€™s $24.3 billion of the $50.8 billion, and this figure doesnâ€™t include loss of productivity.3 The total employer cost for workers compensation in 2003 was $81.7 billion and in 2004 the cost was $87.4 billion â€” a 7 percent increase.4
What is the solution?
In my practice I have successfully treated hundreds of clients suffering from RSIs using the Active Release Technique. ART is forecasted to save employers, health plans and insurance companies in the U.S. and Canada more than $100 million in health care expenses, lost productivity costs, impairment claims and settlement during its first year of operation and over $1.5 billion within five years of program launch.5