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Physiotherapy for Repetitive Strain Injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome)

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) are conditions caused by overuse of muscles, tendons, and nerves, typically from repetitive motions or prolonged fixed postures. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), one of the most common RSIs, is characterized by numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hand due to pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, which can result from repetitive hand motions like typing or assembly line work.

Therapeutic Approach

Physiotherapy for RSIs, including CTS, focuses on reducing inflammation, pain management, and restoring function. The therapeutic approach may involve exercises to stretch and strengthen the affected area, manual therapy techniques, ergonomic assessments, and advice on activity modification to alleviate symptoms and prevent worsening of the condition. Ultrasound or electrotherapy may also be used to promote healing.

Indications for Treatment

Physiotherapy is indicated for individuals experiencing symptoms associated with RSIs such as pain, fatigue, tingling, or loss of sensation and strength in the affected areas. It is particularly beneficial for those whose work or hobbies involve repetitive hand movements or for individuals who have experienced a rapid increase in physical activity that the body has not adapted to.

Expected Outcomes

Effective physiotherapy aims to alleviate symptoms associated with RSIs, with a goal of returning to pain-free, normal function. Patients can expect a reduction in discomfort with improved ergonomic practices, increased strength in supporting muscles, and a decrease in nerve compression symptoms. Long-term outcomes may include the ability to return to work or daily activities without pain, prevention of symptom recurrence, and, in the case of conditions like CTS, potentially avoiding the need for surgical intervention. Treatment success relies on patient adherence to therapy and the incorporation of recommended changes into daily life.

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