Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
is a pain syndrome affecting millions of people
world-wide and is the number one occupational hazard in
the entire US.
Most medical practitioners view RSI as a broad syndrome
that encapsulates a variety of musculoskeletal disorders
affecting the muscles, tendons and nerves in the hands,
arms and upper back. According to this view when these
muscles are kept tense for unusually long periods of
time, due to poor posture or repetitive motions, RSI
begins to develop. The most common types of disorders
which can develop are:
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median
nerve is compressed at the wrist by the surrounding
tendons. Symptoms like tingling, pain, coldness, and
sometimes weakness in parts of the hand indicate CTS. It
is the most common type of disorder diagnosed by
Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendons.
Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled
sheath surrounding a tendon (the synovium). It
frequently causes tendonitis and is closely related to
DeQuervain's Syndrome is an inflammation of the
fluid-filled sheath or carpal tunnel that surrounds the
two tendons which control the movement of the thumb.
This is often caused by the thumbs repetitive up-down
motion required by typists to operate a keyboard. Pain
and swelling over the thumb side of the wrist,
difficulty gripping and numbness on the back of the
thumb are the usual symptoms of this disorder.
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) consists of a group of
distinct disorders that affect the nerves in the
brachial plexus (nerves that pass into the arms from the
neck) and various nerves and blood vessels between the
base of the neck and armpit. For the most part, these
disorders have very little in common except the site of
occurrence. The disorders are complex, somewhat
confusing, and poorly defined, each with various signs
and symptoms of the upper limb.
Trigger finger/thumb is a type of stenosing
tenosynovitis in which the sheath around a tendon in a
thumb or finger becomes swollen and restricts the
tendon's movement. Affected joints may become painful to
straighten once bent, and may make a soft crackling
sound when moved.
Intersection Syndrome is a painful condition that
affects the thumb side of the forearm where two muscles
cross over, or intersect, two underlying wrist tendons.
Intersection Syndrome is often confused with
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS) also known
as complex regional pain syndrome — is a chronic
condition characterized by severe burning pain,
pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive
sweating, tissue swelling, and extreme sensitivity to
touch. RSDS is currently classified as a variant of
causalgia, not necessarily caused by trauma./li>
After diagnosis of the underlying musculoskeletal
disorder, trained physicians usually prescribe the
therapies designed for those specific disorders. In many
cases these solutions just don't work..