If you've ever felt a burning, aching pain in your elbow after playing too much tennis or golf, had shooting pains and weakness in your hands after being glued to a computer for weeks working on a project deadline, you've probably experienced early stages of repetitive stress injury (RSI).
Although RSI affects nearly 2 million workers each year, it often comes as a surprise. Symptoms can develop gradually in fingers, wrists, elbows, neck, shoulders, knees and back when performing the same motions over and over (typing, texting, mousing, playing an instrument, throwing a ball, jogging, etc.)
Whether job or recreation related, repetitive stress can unfortunately turn into a nasty chronic injury that can cripple your ability to work, engage in activities you love, and even ruin your career.
Common RSI injuries include but are not limited to :
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
- Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow, Golfers Elbow, Baseball Elbow)
- Tenosynovitis (Gamer's Thumb)
- Trigger finger
- Rotator cuff syndrome
How Stress Management Coaching Can Help
The good news is that RSI responds well to early detection and lifestyle changes. The right support and stress relief plan is essential - especially if your work put you at higher risk for job burnout or you overuse your body repeatedly (typing, texting, gaming, sewing, jogging, etc.) Personal coaching can provide the roadmap, step-by-step guidance and skills to alleviate stress mindfully and minimize your risk of injury by helping you to:
Identify warning signs. Everyone experiences repetitive stress differently (stiffness, throbbing, cramping, aching, tingling, tightness, weakness, numbness, etc.) Becoming mindful of tasks, activities and emotional or environmental stressors that trigger your symptoms is the first step in preventing or treating repetitive stress. Take our free stress quizzes to assess your personal and work stress triggers.
Understand your movement style. How you sit, stand, talk on the phone, write, etc. can impact your posture and body alignments. Cultivating awareness and listening to critical sensory information can help you reduce stress, excess effort (working harder than you need to) and improve the efficiency of how your body functions.
Manage negative emotions. Many people spend the majority of their day stuck in stress, frustration and overwhelm, often needlessly. Becoming aware of the situations, events and people that trigger negative moods can and help you adapt your thinking, reframe stress and shift to a more positive, resilient mindset.
Improve your lifestyle. Learning to make healthier choices can significantly lower your risk of developing RSI. Taking breaks, exercising regularly, improving posture, using ergonomically optimized equipment and making time to relax are as important as eating a healthy diet and getting better sleep.
Develop new coping skills. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, body scanning and guided imagery are powerful mindfulness techniques for de-stressing your body and brain. In a recent UCLA study, participants who learned and practiced mindfulness for just 5 minutes a day over 3-weeks significantly reduced their stress. They also experienced an increase in life satisfaction, mastery of their environment and more positive relationships with others.
Ready to find relief? Read about our Stress Management Programs and schedule a free discovery call today. Learn how personal coaching can help you minimize repetitive stress and avoid or rebound from injury.