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Acupuncture for Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive Strain Injury covers a whole range of problems caused by the overuse of any part of the body. Frozen shoulder, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome are examples of RSI’s. Repetitive strain injuries can leave you with pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area. There may also be loss of function, strength, or movement.

In the last year, there has been an increase in repetitive strain injuries due to the number of people working from home. Most of us do not have at-home desk setups that are ergonomically correct. We sit more and spend more time than ever in front of computers and laptops. 

Acupuncture is often used to treat pain. Acupuncture works by moving the qi and blood in the surrounding area. By increasing the blood flow, it can help reduce inflammation and pain. Acupuncture is generally used more than herbal medicine for the effective treatment of repetitive strain injury.

What are the most common forms of Repetitive Strain Injury?

Some of the most common forms of RSI include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects the median nerve in the wrist.
  • Tendonitis in the wrist and hand.
  • Tendinosis.
  • Tenosynovitis, which affects the membrane surrounding a tendon.
  • Bursitis in the wrist, knee, elbow, or shoulder.
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigger finger or trigger thumb
  • Frozen shoulder

What causes Repetitive Strain Injury?

The cause of RSI lies in repetitive microscopic trauma that occurs due to strain on the muscles and joints that can be caused by:

  • Small, frequent movements
  • Vigorous movements containing a lot of force
  • A lack of movement, such as holding a limb in an unnatural position

Examples of activities that can cause repetitive strain injuries include:

  • Carpal Tunnel – repetitive hand motions, awkward hand positions, or strong ripping
  • Tennis Elbow – the tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually caused by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm
  • Trigger Finger -your fingers gets stuck in a bent position,  usually caused by repetitive gripping actions 
  • Bursitis – repetitive motions or positions that put pressure on the bursae around a joint such as lifting something over your head repeatedly or leaning on your elbows for long periods
  • Stretching and twisting, such as when painting or cleaning
  • Lifting heavy loads, such as boxes or building materials
  • Performing the same action repeatedly
  • Holding limbs without support, such as typing with no wrist support
  • Sitting in a cramped position for extended periods of time

Some of these activities can also cause pain in other parts of the body, such as the back.

How does acupuncture help?

Acupuncture works by moving the qi and blood in the surrounding area. By increasing the blood flow, it can help reduce inflammation and pain. We can help!

More information on Repetitive Strain Injury:

Research Finds Acupuncture Effective for Chronic Pain

The Role of Acupuncture in Treating Chronic Pain

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Repetitive motion injuries during COVID-19

Should I Worry About… working from home causing repetitive stress injury?