Being among the most common work related health issues faced by the corporate world today, too little is being done to improve Repetitive Strain Injury awareness adequately.

Why do I experience pain?

Besides pain, numbness, tingling sensation and stiffness are just some of the common complaints received throughout my practice. There are various reasons and contributing factors that results in us going through these physical symptoms and it means that the problem existed or has persisted for a period of time. Work related pain, most commonly known as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) as of today, is the most common ailment that our workforce faces today. RSI happens over a period of time and it involves doing the same activity repeatedly. Coupled with improper posture, improper exercises and muscle weakness or other existing conditions, musculoskeletal issues becomes
aggravated and obvious.

But what if there is no pain?

Absence of pain has led far too many people to think that everything is fine and no attention is needed. At least for now. This idea proved misleading when most conditions examined by healthcare professionals started manifesting even before pain becomes obvious. This is evident in the areas of pain and the structures it has already affected to result in pain.

So what should I do now?

It is of utmost importance to seek professional help as there are far too many possibilities as to what the problem may be, the source of the discomfort, the structures involved, and what it could possibly lead to. All these needs knowledge and more importantly experience. It is also very much recommended that regular musculoskeletal checkups and assessments be done as regularly as possible depending on the nature of our work, lifestyle and presenting health conditions. This should be practiced irregardless of whether pain is present.

Is this particular exercise suitable for me?

Making sure an exercise or sport benefits us is the most crucial decision we can make for our fitness. The most common factors that needs to be taken into consideration includes:

  • Present and past injuries/ health issues
  • Frequency and duration of that sport a week
  • Nature of that particular sport/exercise
  • Current lifestyle

Questions like “What exercises should I be doing?” “Should I be doing these exercises now or later?” and “What exercises should I be doing before moving on to something more strenuous?” should always be asked and determined before any physical activity.

How much rest do I need from that particular activity?

It is vital for rehab, training and exercise routines to include sufficient rest to ensure it does us more good than harm. Considering this question will allow us to recover and remain injury free. To safely answer, it is important to consider our current condition holistically and it’s capabilities. Best to be guided by a professional with vast experience.

How to ensure pain stays away permanently?

It is important to exercise daily, rest sufficiently and adhere to a healthy diet. Hydration is important for proper recovery after exercise. Regular stretches, proper ergonomics and enough movement at work is crucial to avoid a host of medical issues and RSI.

Do I need supportive devices?

Supportive sportswear can sometimes not be as beneficial as we hope. It is important to note that long term unnecessary support can cause dependency and may even result in weakness and instability of the back or joints. In the event that we do consider using a support, a few
questions that needs to be asked includes:

  • Should I be using a support?
  • Is there a less strenuous exercise I can do without a support?
  • What kind of supports suit me best?

Repetitive Strain Injuries can be the most annoying problems we face at least for some periods of our life. Fending off pain very often requires knowledge and experience we do not have so do seek guidance in ensuring the pain goes away and very importantly stays away.


The Osteopathic Approach’s Osteopath, Dr. Terrence Chee exposes the most critical questions related to muscle health and fitness and why you need to be sure of the answers.

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