Overcoming Repetitive Strain Injury By Exercises

The other name of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is Cumulative Trauma Disorder. Medically it is also called occupational overuse syndrome.

Thus the names itself suggests that the excessive use of your hand specially the wrist and arm cause some injury to them and cause a lot of pain to the joints.

If you overuse your hand on computer keyboards or laptops there is great possibility of having such a problem.

This happens simply due to overuse of muscles and there is formation of lactic acids in the joints.

The RSI could be very painful. If you discover that you have repetitive strain injury you can try some simple exercises [Ergonomic exercises] for repetitive strain injury.

The following simple exercises or stretches have been designed by ergonomics experts and they are also prescribed by physiotherapists as exercises for repetitive strain injury. You can perform them two times a day or even during stretch breaks.

It is highly recommended that you perform these exercises not only to relieve the pain and cure repetitive strain injury but also to prevent it from happening to your wrist.

Arm across Chest

This exercise will help you stretch your shoulders, upper back and upper arms. This will eventually improve your posture while you sit in front of a computer. Here it goes how you should perform it.

You need to place the right arm across your chest and then place your left hand just above the elbow. Now you slowly pull the arm across the chest and hold for 10 seconds.

Relax and repeat four to five times. Relax and repeat this with the other arm now. This would prevent hand pain and also improve your sitting posture on a chair.

Arm Massage

This is not only massage but also an exercise for your fingers. You would use the thumb and other fingers to massage your arm. This massage would help you remove the toxins produced in the arms due to stress.

While you take stretch breaks, roll up your sleeves of right hand and use the thumb and fingers of your left hand to massage the arm. Massage it for 2 minutes and then repeat on left arm with right thumb and fingers.

Finger Stretch and Clench

This exercise is to relieve the pain of your fingers and its joints. Spread the fingers of both your hands as far as possible and then make a tight fist and squeeze. Repeat this exercise several times a day while you are in office or in front of a computer.

Wrist Movement

Fold all your fingers a little tight and make your wrist move in a twisted manner from left to right and then from right to left for two minutes. You can carry on with this exercise two to three times a day.

Thus, these are some exercises for repetitive strain injury which you can try in home or office to get relief from pain as well as keep RSI in bay.


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  1. “This happens simply due to overuse of muscles and there is formation of lactic acids in the joints.”

    I think it should be mentioned that in many or most RSI cases, nerve entrapment is also a major (or the main) issue. Plus, poor posture increases the chance of developing RSI.

  2. Dominique Biner says:

    One needs to address the weak postural muscles, stretch the trapezius, scalenes, pectoralis minor, wrist extensors and flexors muscles.
    It is very important to limit static contraction by moving regularly, and stretch 3 to 4 times a day for at least 45 seconds.

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