Repetitive Strain Injury
Physiotherapy, hand therapy and deep tissue release

Repetitive Strain Injury, often abbreviated as RSI, is called by other names such as cumulative trauma disorders (CTD), overuse syndrome or repetitive stress injury, is really injuries to the physical and neurological body or body parts by repetitive actions, tasks, or by repeated exposure to forces that are compressive or vibration in nature.

Common causes of RSI

Literature describes the causes of RSI to be primarily be lifestyle or worklife without ergonomic concerns or care, e.g. using a poorly handled knife, or blunt knife, everyday, over time causes RSI. Or simply by placing the monitor too much to the right, or to the bottom, causes our necks to stiffen and muscles to shorten in a particular fashion, inducing repetitive strain injury, over time. If you're a budding or veteran musician, you're likely to have one already.

A list of typical actions or habits that lead to RSI

  1. Reading or doing tasks for extended periods of time while looking down e.g. phones, tablets, books etc.
  2. Sleeping on an inadequate bed/mattress or sitting in a bad armchair and/or in an uncomfortable position.
  3. Carrying heavy loads.
  4. Clamping phone between neck and shoulder for a phone conversation
  5. Watching TV in a prolonged position.
  6. Sleeping with head to the side, or forwards.
  7. Prolonged use of the hands, wrists, back, neck on a specific task.

Symptoms of repetitive strain injury

  1. Short bursts of severe cramping and/or excruciating pain over a widespread area of the body
  2. Pain worsens with activities or exercises
  3. Noticeably weakness in limbs

Frequency And Occurrence

55-70% of workers in US and UK suffer from some kind of RSI, the most common RSI problems are the back and neck, wrists and the hands.

Physiotherapy Examinations And Tests

Initial examinations includes primarily clinical palpations, and if any tenderness or weakness are detected on mobility-related tests e.g. pinch or pinch strength weaknesses, with no other obvious signs of abnormalities. The patient will present with a healthy body or body part that has pain.

Physiotherapy Treatment

From what we know theoretically and clinically experienced in ourselves and in our patients, most of the time, most of the RSI that is sustained will resolve on their own, given that the affected area is sufficiently rested when the RSI started. I myself have intermittent trigger finger and de Quervain's tenosynovitis, which, with rest, splinting, and gentle active and passive exercises and stretches, will heal.

But, on the other hand, it can escalate in pain experienced in terms of intensity, frequency and duration painful moments, and I've managed patients who had their repetitive strain injury for years, some chose to live with it and come to me periodically for pain relief and mobility exercises, some opt for surgical interventions.

The most commonly prescribed physiotherapy intervention for repetitive strain injury in our clinics are a clinical mix of rest, icing therapy, exercise therapy, gentle stretches, splinting and clinical massage therapy. Sometimes we also provide ultrasound to speed up the healing process.

Ergonomics And Workstation Consultancy

The computer and workstation is often blamed for the development and aggravation of repetitive strain injury in workers, especially for the back and neck, hands and wrist ones, so ergonomic and environmental modifications and adjustments of the workstation or work site are often required. For this, we modify the layout of the worker in relation to his or her working environment, and whenever possible, the equipment and job processes.

Alternatives to help

  1. Adaptive RSI prevention software such as speech-type, break timers and auto-mouse-click.
  2. Adaptive hardware such as ergonomical keyboards, tablets, touch screens, roller mouse
  3. Splinting to provide the rest the body part requires.
  4. Physiotherapy or hand therapy for pain relief, exercise therapy
  5. Office exercises to keep active and fit
  6. Activity modification to minimize damage caused as opposed to non-work at all
  7. Stress Management relaxation techniques
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Our Physio & Rehab Expertise

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.

Areas of specialization

  • physiotherapy: back and neck (spine), sports, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle
  • hand therapy: forearm, wrist, hand and fingers
  • podiatrist: leg, calf, ankle, foot and toes
  • read more on our specializations here

All our therapists are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCM). See our entire team here by location and specialization.

Initially, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover. They then provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

To call for inquiries or appointments, please contact us at:



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We appreciate you as a patient and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients.

When you have the opportunity, please take the time to tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our clinic.

Thank you so much, and stay healthy!

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We are a wholly Singapore Private Limited group of licensed physiotherapists, hand therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, sports massage therapists, clinical pilates practitioners and TCM physicians practicing in our scope of rehabilitation and its areas of specializations.

As listed in our website are the list of services we provide our clients as referred by their medical doctors or by self referrals/word of mouth, but you can also make an appointment without seeing any doctors (that being said, if you do need a referral to a specialist orthopedic surgeon or sports GP, we will recommend you too as value added service at no additional costs to you).

The range of rehabilitation results vary from patients to patients, depending on a variety of factors and reasons such as severity of condition, genetics, gender and age. However, we will still deliver the best evidence-based-practice of physiotherapy, hand therapy, TCM, sports training and deep tissue release therapy that we can deliver (we are proud to say that we try our best to only engage the most experienced and specialist therapists - which makes a big difference in clinical outcomes).

The information available on this site is for educational purposes only, if you need a full professional advise on physiotherapy, hand therapy and occupational therapy, please schedule an appointment with us by contacting our staff by Call/SMS/WhatsApp at +6588001830 or email, thanks!

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Your physio, hand therapy and rehab with us may be covered under your medical insurance or cashless - find out more here.


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Finally I know what I have, my pain decreased and now I'm back to work!

Regional Sales Manager

OMG. The pain levels in my hands have dropped dramatically, about 60-70%


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