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Treating Work-Related Repetitive Strain Injuries Through Chiropractic Care

Many are unaware that the most prevalent injury is a repetitive strain injury, common during work whether you’re lifting heavy objects or at a desk. Repetitive stress can strain and tear muscles and ligaments, causing injury. If unaddressed, this can escalate into chronic issues such as a herniated disk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2021, 9% of adults in the United States experienced repetitive strain injuries, with more than half claiming their injuries were serious enough to affect their activities for 24 hours. 

Taking care of one’s muscles and joints is important for your overall health. Luckily, chiropractic care can help you recover quickly and work pain-free. 

What is A Repetitive Strain Injury? 

A repetitive strain injury (RSI) occurs when muscles, nerves, or tendons are subjected to repetitive movements, such as keyboard typing or lifting heavy boxes, or sustained awkward posture over an extended period.

RSI doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone, but those frequently impacted include physical laborers, desk-bound individuals working on computers, athletes, and more. Everyday activities that can lead to RSI encompass:

  • Moving a mouse
  • Typing 
  • Lifting a heavy box
  • Grasping tools

This injury can typically affect the following parts: 

  • Wrists
  • Fingers and thumbs
  • Elbows
  • Arms
  • Shoulder
  • Knees

Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) can result in various complications, including: 

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This condition stems from excessive use or strain on the wrist or hand. Common activities like typing or using a mouse can contribute to its development. 
  • Tendonitis: This condition involves the inflammation of a tendon, the tissue that links muscles to bones. Repetitive overuse of tendons is a primary cause.
  • Shoulder, Back, and Neck Injuries: Repetitive movements and poor posture can lead to injuries affecting the shoulders, back, and neck.

Repetitive Strain Injury Symptoms 

Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) can manifest a range of symptoms, varying in type and intensity. Common symptoms include:

  • Persistent and aching pain: Notable and often localized to frequently used areas like the wrist, arm, or back.
  • Tenderness: The affected area becomes sensitive to touch, causing increased pain upon pressure.
  • Muscle Weakness: Over time, the muscles in the affected area may weaken, making it difficult to perform daily activities.
  • Numbness and Tingling: Some RSIs, like carpal tunnel syndrome, can cause sensations of numbness, tingling, or a “pins and needles” feeling.
  • Inflammation: Visible swelling and redness can occur in the affected region.
  • Sensitivity to Temperature: Due to tenderness, individuals with RSI might experience heightened sensitivity to temperature changes, especially cold or heat.

How to Treat Repetitive Strain Injuries at Home

The treatment for RSI varies based on its cause and severity. Initially, reducing or modifying the activity causing the injury is crucial to allow the body to rest and heal. Home treatment options include following the R.I.C.E. protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for the affected area and using over-the-counter pain relief medications.


Seeking help from a chiropractic clinic can be highly beneficial for work-related strain injuries. Chiropractors are specialized healthcare professionals focused on diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, including RSI. Their expertise can provide targeted care to alleviate RSI symptoms and support the healing process.

How a Chiropractor Treats Repetitive Strain Injuries

Chiropractors go beyond addressing the immediate pain; they prioritize your overall well-being, aiming to restore your body to its optimal state. Tailoring treatment plans specific to you, they work towards enhancing your quality of life.

While central to chiropractic care are spinal manipulations and adjustments, the scope is more extensive. Chiropractors often recommend stretching and strengthening exercises to fortify the muscles around the affected area, promoting increased flexibility. 

For wrists, chiropractors may employ manual adjustments and mobilizations to relieve pain and enhance movement. They might also recommend exercises to strengthen the wrist muscles and improve flexibility. Additionally, ergonomic advice can be provided to prevent repetitive strain, especially for those engaged in activities that stress the wrists.

In the case of knees, chiropractors can use targeted adjustments and mobilizations to address misalignments or joint restrictions. They often incorporate rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joint and improve stability. Moreover, they may suggest lifestyle modifications, including posture adjustments and appropriate footwear, to alleviate knee-related concerns.

When it comes to ankles, chiropractic care can involve adjustments to ensure proper alignment and movement. This could be complemented by rehabilitation exercises to stabilize the ankle and promote healing. Chiropractors may also advise on suitable footwear and techniques to prevent injuries and maintain optimal ankle health.

Emphasizing a holistic approach to wellness, they offer nutritional guidance and lifestyle suggestions that contribute to the healing process.

Moreover, chiropractors provide pain management strategies like heat therapy, deep tissue therapy, and ergonomic advice, particularly beneficial for individuals whose RSI is exacerbated by their daily work setups. Their integrated approach addresses not only the symptoms but also strives to enhance your overall health and functionality.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment 

Pain relief

A chiropractor understands that misalignment is a significant source of pain. They address this by focusing on affected joints and muscles, utilizing adjustments and massages to alleviate discomfort. 

Improved range of motion 

A work-related injury often leads to a restricted range of motion. When a limb is injured, compensatory use of other limbs can weaken the muscles in the affected limb. Chiropractic adjustments can alleviate pain and discomfort by reducing muscle tension and enhancing joint function. This aids in restoring proper movement and strength in the injured limb.

Reduced inflammation

Inflammation is a vital part of the body’s healing mechanism, but excess swelling can lead to damage in muscles and tendons, restricting movement. A chiropractor can realign your body naturally, reducing the production of white blood cells that induce swelling, promoting a more balanced healing response. This aids in managing inflammation and facilitates improved mobility.

Accelerating the body’s healing 

Chiropractic treatment emphasizes natural strength building, instilling confidence in patients swiftly compared to relying solely on medications. It allows the body to naturally heal by enabling its inherent healing mechanisms through appropriate techniques, nurturing a more organic healing process. This approach empowers patients to regain confidence in their body’s capacity to heal effectively.

Non-invasive and holistic treatment 

Chiropractic care stands out as a non-invasive and medication-free treatment, making it an excellent choice for those opting for natural healing.

Beyond mere pain relief, chiropractic care strives to recover lost mobility and reinstate the body’s innate functionality. Additionally, the dietary and lifestyle programs recommended by chiropractors are designed to enhance a person’s overall quality of life, illustrating the holistic approach of this treatment.

Prioritize Your Health & Wellness with LifeClinic

Choose wellness and regain your body’s natural function with the help of LifeClinic’s chiropractic care. Our chiropractors and physical therapists are trained to restore and optimize your body’s function and will devise a personalized treatment plan to start your recovery. 

Get a personalized consultation with our chiropractic team. Book a consultation today! 

Dr. Reza Alizadeh

Dr. Reza is the visionary behind LifeClinic. His leadership is the foundation for the patient and team member experience, and overall direction of the LifeClinic. As the creator of IMJT, Dr. Reza continues to be the primary teacher on this technique.

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