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Chiropractic Care for
Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
by Sandy Giacobbe, D.C.
Holding Ball & Racket
Bowling Alley
Chef Chopping Vegetables

As creatures of habit, humans tend to do the same types of repetitive movements day in and day out. Repetitive motion is common in our jobs, lifestyle and in the recreational and sports activities we choose.  Any activity that places stress on your body can cause RSI, but the most common causes are computer use, physical labor, playing sports, and leisure activities. Most of these activities wouldn’t cause pain or injury on their own. It’s only when they are repeated over and over, for months or years, that they start to cause damage.

   Subtle movements like typing, assembling, sewing, and gardening and poor posture, or working in awkward positions, can cause injury if it goes on long enough. More forceful movements like working, exercising or playing sports that place your body under stress can develop into RSI. Most often damage occurs in your joints, muscles and soft tissues. Without proper treatment, that damage can lead to more serious problems. Problems like lower back pain or neck pain from physical work or even sitting at a computer for long periods. 


The most common symptoms include pain and stiffness in the affected area. Involvement in the neck and shoulders may cause you to feel numbness or tingling in your arms or hands and with involvement in the lower back, you may feel those symptoms in your legs or feet. You may also feel weakness or fatigue, or even popping or clicking in your joints.     Left untreated, symptoms can become more serious and develop into chronic pain, headaches, and chronic stiffness due to the long-standing injuries.

    A chronic RSI can make simple things like playing sports, working, and even leisure activities too painful to enjoy, and it can even interfere with your sleep. If allowed time to recover with a proper plan of treatment, your body can often heal itself. But repeated wear and tear of the invoving activity may damage your joints and soft tissues to the point of scar tissue. Scar tissue is like glue and causes stiff joints to become even more stiff, weak and painful.

Symptoms Of Repetitive Stress Injury

The symptoms of RSI can range from mild to severe

and usually develop gradually. They often include:

pain, aching or tenderness    

• stiffness

• tingling or numbness            

• throbbing                        

• weakness                                    

• cramping

Working Coffee

How Chiropractic Care can help with RSI


At Stillwater Health and Wellness, we use a combination of techniques depending on the status and severity of your Repetitive injury:

• Adjustments - Manual adjustments and alignments may result in better joint and nerve function, which actively contribute to the mobility in the area of your injury.

• Decompression Techniques – Methods involve stretching out certain parts of the body in order to separate the joint surfaces. Since many stress ailments occur around joints or related areas, this can be used to great effect. It may be combined with ongoing stretching at home in order to help the injured area and restore range of motion.

• Percussion massage - Soft tissue massages help loosen tight muscles, reduce inflammation, improve circulation and reduce pain.

• Low Level Laser Therapy - has been shown in clinical trials to reduce pain by more than 70% and decrease inflammation by targeting the cells and tissues, improving circulation to the RSI area.

• Home Exercises - We will make recommendations for specific at home exercises to rehabilitate the area involved.

• Nutritional Supplements - We recommend supplements that help play a role in recovery from pain and inflammation. For information contact us at 908-362-8767 or visit

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