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.

Work Health Solutions

Work Health Solutions

About Us

Work Health Solutions is dedicated to preserving a safe work environment and improving existing programs and care for local, regional and national organizations.

Share This Post


Recent Posts

Speak with an Occupational Health Specialist

If you have questions about Work Health Solution's occupational health services or if you need to purchase bulk medical supplies, such as COVID-19 testing kits, please contact us.

Get in Touch

Dr. Michael Tenison

A series of notable accomplishments distinguish Dr. Michael Tenison’s career in medical operations and healthcare management:

  • Successfully led medical operations at a national healthcare provider, focusing on optimizing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Oversaw the regional medical practices in key markets like Oregon and Northern California, ensuring consistent, quality medical care and service delivery.
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership in building and mentoring a large medical provider team, enhancing team performance and patient care standards.
  • Implemented strategic company policies and protocols, significantly improving center efficiency, clinical quality, and patient experiences.
  • Played a pivotal role in financial planning and identifying growth opportunities for healthcare services, contributing to the organization’s overall success.
  • Served as a primary point of contact for regional employer clients and insurance companies, fostering strong relationships and effective communication.
  • Maintained high medical care and case management standards through diligent supervision, chart audits, and performance metric analysis.

Dr. Matt Feeley

Dr. Matt Feeley is a renowned figure in military aviation medicine, with a robust background in occupational and environmental medicine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

  • Former Naval Flight Surgeon, exemplifying his expertise in aerospace medicine and commitment to military health.
  • Served with distinction at NSA Bahrain and HSM-37, earning the COMPACFLT Flight Surgeon of the Year award for exceptional medical service.
  • Supported U.S. Marines VMFA-323 aboard the USS Nimitz, MACG-38, and VMU-3, demonstrating versatility and leadership in diverse medical environments.
  • Broad interests and significant contributions in global health, corporate medicine, and aerospace medicine, highlighting his multidisciplinary approach.
  • Proven track record as a dynamic leader, well-equipped to face the challenges in a fractional medical directorship role with innovative solutions.

Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
  • Co-founded Acceleromics, a consulting firm providing clinical and regulatory guidance to digital health startups.

Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

  • Oversees clinical operations and ensures high clinical standards across the company’s national field staff.
  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
  • Specialized in treating occupational injuries and illnesses, and provided medical surveillance and travel medicine consults at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Lab.
  • Dedicated to sports and occupational injury treatment and prevention.
  • Assistant Clinical Faculty at UCSF, mentoring students in clinical rotations within the Adult Gerontology and Occupational and Environmental Health Program.
  • Holds leadership roles as Treasurer and President Elect of the California El Camino Real Association of Occupational Health Nurses (CECRAOHN), affiliated with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN).

Dr. Robert Goldsmith

Expert in benefits design and onsite innovation with specialization in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
  • Instrumental in creating an integrated healthcare system at Novartis.
  • Former private practice in internal medicine in Stamford, Connecticut, and Medical Director consultant for GTE Corporation.
  • Transitioned to GE as a Global Medical Director in 2000.
  • Holds a medical degree from Albert Einstein College, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and completed training at Greenwich Hospital and Yale-New Haven Medical Center.
  • Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vagelos School of Medicine, Columbia University.
  • Serves as a team physician for high school athletes in Stamford.
  • Published works on occupational health risks, primary prevention, and exercise-induced asthma.