Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a general term used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse.
It’s also called work-related upper limb disorder or non-specific upper limb pain.
The condition mostly affects parts of the upper body, such as the forearm, elbow, wrist, hands, neck and shoulders.
Work Related Upper Limb Disorders (WRULDs)
Upper limb disorders affect the arms, from fingers to shoulders, and neck. They are often called repetitive strain injuries (RSI), cumulative trauma disorder or occupational overuse syndrome. According to HSE statistics, in 2005/06 an estimated 374 000 people in Great Britain suffered from WRULDs caused or made worse by their work. (www.hse.gov.uk)
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders describe a wide range of inflammatory and degenerative diseases and disorders. These conditions result in pain and functional impairment and may affect, besides others, the neck, shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists and hands. They are work-related when the work activities and work conditions significantly contribute to their development or exacerbation but are not necessarily the sole determinant of causation. (www.hse.gov.uk)
Understanding Centralised Pain
Whether pain is acute (one day old) or chronic (longer than 6 month duration), it is always processed by the brain. This does NOT mean that pain is in our imagination, but the mechanisms by which pain is produced is the product of our nervous system working. Centralised pain is a pain experience that is generated and maintained by cells of our central nervous system and can be felt anywhere in the body. It does not have a clear connection with the muscles or tendons where you feel the pain.
Often pain felt is referred pain, not where the actual problem originates.
Referred pain, also called reflective pain, is pain perceived at a location other than the site of the painful stimulus.
How does Pilates help?
Pilates focuses on balancing the muscle relationships within the body and teaching it how to properly support itself with the correct muscles, it is a long-term solution to pain. You will not only strengthen and use your muscles properly, but also gain body awareness to help you in the future.