The Three Stages of Repetitive Strain Injury
RSI Stage one (mild)
Pain, aching and tiredness of the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck or legs during work, which improves overnight. This stage may last weeks or months, but is reversible.
RSI Stage two (moderate)
Recurrent pain, aching and tiredness occur earlier in the working day, persist at night and may disturb sleep. Physical signs may be visible, such as swelling of the tendon areas. This stage may last several months.
RSI Stage three (severe)
Pain, aching, weakness and fatigue are experienced even when person is resting completely. Sleep is often disturbed and the sufferer may be unable to carry out even light tasks at home or work. This stage may last for months or years. Sometimes it is irreversible and the person never gets back full use of the affected part of their body.
This demonstrates the need to recognise the symptoms of RSI early so that remedial action can be taken when the condition is at the mild stage and can be reversed.
Stage one is virtually impossible to distinguish from aches and pain arising from fatigue and may continue for weeks or months. However, the transition to stage three can take place within weeks and sufferers can be in extreme pain or incapacitated for months or years. It is therefore vital to take all symptoms seriously and take prompt action.