What are the 5 Symptoms of RSI?

man in knee brace

Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are one of the most common injuries sustained in the workplace. Many individuals don’t realize they’re endangering their health and slowly causing an RSI. Moreover, identifying an RSI can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. If you’re concerned that you may have sustained a repetitive strain injury, here are the top 5 symptoms of RSIs that may help you identify your ailment and create a safer workplace.

What is a Repetitive Strain Injury?

Before looking at the symptoms of a repetitive strain injury, it’s important to understand what it is. An RSI is a pain or injury you feel in your muscles. It is caused by a repetitive motion or task, often at the workplace. Over time, the repetitive motions build up stress in a certain area until it becomes too much for the body to handle. The most common areas to receive an RSI are:

  • Forearms
  • Wrists
  • Hands
  • Elbows
  • Neck
  • Shoulders

Repetitive strain injuries can vary in severity. Depending on where they are located, how they began, and how often you use that location of your body, you may be able to treat your RSI with simple rest, while other injuries may require medical attention. That being said, it’s important to be able to identify whether you’re dealing with an RSI or some other injury.

What are the 5 Symptoms of RSI?

Learning to identify the symptoms of a repetitive strain injury will clue you into the severity of your injury, what may have caused it, and what steps you should take next. While there are many symptoms you may experience, here are the top 5 symptoms of RSI to watch out for.

Pain & Tenderness

RSIs may result in constant pain or tenderness to a certain area. If you notice the pain worsening while at work, you likely are doing something repetitive that aggravated the injured area.

Stiffness & Lack of Mobility

Depending on the location of your injury, you may feel little to no pain. However, RSI can manifest itself by causing stiffness or lack of mobility in areas such as the elbow or knees.

Numbness & Tingling

Numbness or a tingling sensation is common after a repetitive task. At first, you may only feel it after the task or motion but left untreated the numbness may become more frequent as well as more severe.


RSI may result in an inability to perform simple tasks such as picking up boxes due to joint and muscle weakness. If you’re experiencing muscle weakness you should consult your healthcare professional immediately.

Throbbing Pain

While some pains are dull, others may be a consistent throbbing each time you perform a task. Pain in joints and muscles is common when suffering from a repetitive strain injury.

What should you do if you have an RSI?

If you believe you’re suffering from an RSI the first step is to seek medical help. While you may feel that you can treat your injuries on your own, it’s difficult to self-diagnose the severity of your injury. Consulting a medical professional will help you identify how serious your pain is and how it can be treated.

The next step is to identify the stressor that caused the injury to begin with. Think about which repetitive tasks you perform that may have caused the injury. Picking up boxes, grabbing something off a high shelf, bending over, etc. are all movements that may cause a build-up of stress in your body. Look for ways to modify these tasks to make them less stressful on your body.

How Can We Help?

Work Health Solutions offers comprehensive healthcare solutions for your medical needs. Our qualified team treats patients and employers alike and always provides top-quality service. We back our quality service with years of experience working with academics and research.

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