Clifton & Shirehampton Osteopaths - RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)


RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)

Everyday stresses and strains, dictated by our busy lifestyles, can lead to a gradual build up of tension and overuse in our muscles, tendons and joints. Sometimes when this reaches its peak we will experience pain and disability.


What is RSI?   

Repetitive strain injuries are common in areas where our muscles and tendons are used to carry out the same, repetitive function over and over without rest – often in an area where the natural activity patterns of these muscle groups are designed to function in a very different way to that which is necessitated by modern computer keyboards etc.


The muscle tendons become inflamed and swollen where they run through their tendon sheaths or pulleys and this sets up a chronic pattern of pain and dysfunction in the affected areas.

Often labelled Tendonitis, Tenosynovitis or Epicondylitis these conditions are all characterised by localised pain and swelling and if left to become chronic, normal function and dexterity may become severely compromised.


Common Conditions

  • Tennis Elbow – overuse of the extensor tendons of the forearm giving pain and weakness (usually on gripping) from the outer prominence of the elbow, down the outside of the forearm into the wrist.
    Click here to read more about Tennis Elbow

  • Golfers Elbow – overuse of the flexor tendons of the forearm giving similar symptoms to above but over the inner aspect of the forearm & wrist
    Click here to read more about Golfers Elbow

  • Shoulder tendonitis (often Supraspinatus) can be caused by something as harmless as excessive mouse use – pain on lifting the arm out and to the side – often confused with frozen shoulder.
    Click here to read more about Shoulder Pain


An initial examination of the painful area will look for tenderness and swelling, symptomatic of conditions such as Tenosynovitis or Epicondylitis.

We will also thoroughly examine related areas of the spine, muscular and nervous systems which are often implicated as predisposing factors in the establishment of RSI.



Once a diagnosis has been established following orthopaedic and neurological testing, mobilisation and deep tissue massage aim to improve posture, stop pain and restore strength and mobility.


We help you eliminate as many of the contributory causes of the problem as possible with advice on height of computer screens and workstations, ergonomic seating, writing slopes, beds and car seats.


We may also prescribe regular corrective exercises to regain strength and stamina and help combat the pain.


Osteopathic assessment and treatment of involved muscles, ligaments and tendons may involve soft-tissue massage therapy, exercises and hot / cold therapy as well as manipulative treatment of the neck & shoulders.



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Bristol Central Booking Line - (0117) 929 3289