Chiropractors should treat RSIs by trying to address as many factors as possible.
A doctor of chiropractic will usually focus on structure and function of the muscles and joints stressing that improper motions can cause strain, inflammation, and stiffness. He will usually address the improper motion with chiropractic manipulative therapy ( see previous post on what an adjustment does ). In addition to manipulation, a chiropractor may give you exercises to help retrain your mind, muscles, and joints in proper motion.
There are many things that another person cannot do for you to improve your health, but a good doctor should attempt to address them. He should try to educate you regarding proper preventative exercises and proper ergonomics. He may refer you to a physical therapist if major retraining is needed. He may consult or refer you to a movement specialist such as an instructor in the Alexander technique or the Feldenkrais method . Both of these will help you learn how to perform your tasks properly whether it is playing a musical instrument or typing at your computer.
Your doctor should also educate you on how often and what to do to take breaks. He should be able to show you stretches to relieve pressure, and even provide documentation to your employer that will allow you proper breaks, and may, if implemented, improve productivity across his company. As an employer you could bring a chiropractor in to give these instructions to all of your employees this may even improve workers compensation rates.
Your doctor should also ask about the rest of your life. Chiropractors are well trained as health care providers, though they specialize in manipulation. They should be able to help you with an exercise routine, diet, and general health, or at least refer to someone who can. Your diet is important. A chiropractor, without additional training is not a nutritionist, but can give you some general advice, or even identify possible problems with your diet. The same goes for exercise and overall health.
As a chiropractor and massage therapist I work with musicians who often have RSIs. I work in cooperation with their trainers, medical doctors, physical therapists, and anyone else that I feel can help them. I believe that your care is the most important thing in my practice, and if I don’t already know a provider that meets your needs then I need to meet a new colleague.