I think I am suffering from RSI. What should I do?

RSI tends to develop over time with symptoms gradually worsening so don’t ignore the warning signs.

Your employer has a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) to provide you with safe working conditions, and a common-law duty of care towards you.

Tell your employer about the problem immediately so that steps can be taken to change the way you are working.

See your GP. The NHS says that the first step in treating RSI is often to identify and stop, reduce or modify the activity that is causing the symptoms, and that your GP may advise treatment to relieve the symptoms which could include:

  • a course of anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen;
  • using a heat or cold pack; or
  • referral to a physiotherapist.

It is important to remember that most people get over RSI but that everybody is different, so reactions to treatment and speed of recovery will vary. You have a much better chance of recovery if you consider a combination of factors, to not only treat the symptoms, but also make long-term changes to your working habits and general lifestyle, including diet and exercise.

Although most people recover, it is far easier to prevent RSI occurring in the first place than it is to cure it. This can often be achieved by taking simple steps to modify your work equipment, pacing work sensibly and taking regular breaks.

You can find more information on the NHS Choices website

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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