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Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day

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Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day

Source: Public Services Health & Safety Association

UC Berkeley Lab


The last day of February is Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day. At Campbell County Health, both our Rehabilitation Services department and our Occupational Health department assist patients who suffer from these long developing injuries.


According to Berkeley Lab, Repetitive Stress Injuries are soft-tissue injuries that happen over time and can limit normal daily activities and cause persistent pain. RSI can affect the muscles, nerves and tendons of the neck, upper and lower back, shoulders, arms and hands. These injuries are commonly caused by repetitive or forceful actions or working in awkward positions.


The Public Health and Safety Association goes further in depth on RSI and why this day of awareness is important for everyone.

What is RSI Awareness Day?

Many years ago, a few individual workers - all knowing firsthand the debilitating effects Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) or Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) can have on work and life - took it upon themselves to ignite a movement to raise awareness of these injuries, their causes, and solutions. This resulted in International RSI Awareness Day, held annually on the last day of February - the only non-repetitive day on the calendar. On this day, workplaces and communities hold events to bring awareness to this important workplace issue.

RSI or MSD – What Are They?

These are umbrella terms used to describe a collection of injuries that affect the muscles, nerves, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons (soft tissue). Tendinitis, tenosynovitis, muscle strain, low-back injury, and carpal tunnel syndrome are some common examples. Common symptoms include aches, pains, burning, tingling, swelling and loss of joint movement and strength in the affected area(s).

These symptoms can progress into chronic and crippling disorders which, oftentimes, neither physiotherapy or surgery can correct.

Causes of RSI or MSD

A variety of factors can play a role in the development of RSI or MSD:

  • Repetition

  • Insufficient recovery time

  • Forceful movements

  • Awkward or fixed postures

  • Cold temperatures

  • Contact stress

  • Pace of work

  • Psychosocial stress

  • Vibration

Why Is Awareness and Prevention Important?

Occupational injuries to muscles, nerves and tendons (soft tissue) may not be life-ending, but they can certainly be life-altering. They can change everything, robbing workers of their mobility and dignity.

Year after year, work-related repetitive strain injuries (RSI), also commonly known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), account for more than 30 percent of lost-time injuries (LTI) Many more cases of RSI, however, are never reported.

These statistics and the painful experiences behind them demand solutions.

Effective Solutions

The majority of RSI or MSD are preventable. Some effective steps to take include:

  • Early reporting of symptoms and hazards to supervisors and joint health and safety committee (JHSC) members.

  • Suggestions to improve working conditions to supervisors and JHSC members; especially redesigning the workplace to reduce risk factors of RSI/MSD

  • Implementation of ergonomic prevention solutions

  • Worker involvement in suggestions and implementation

  • Timely reporting

  • Quality training to address these issues


Rehabilitation Services provides complete physical therapy and occupational therapy to people with musculoskeletal problems caused by disease or injury. For more information on these services, call us at 307.688.8000. If you’d like to learn more about getting treatment for RSI for your employees, or in your workplace, please contact our Occupation Health department at 307.688.8378

  • Category: CCH News, CCMG News, CCMH News, Rehabilitation Services, Health News