Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is basically an umbrella term used to refer to a loose group of conditions characterized by an overuse of specific muscles.

Also known as Cumulative Trauma Disorder, RSI injuries primarily occur due to overuse of computer, guitar, knife or other similar repetitive motions.

The most commonly known forms of RSI include:

• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Tendonitis
• Bursitis
• Tenosynovitis
• DeQuervain’s Syndrome
• Tendinosis
• Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
• Trigger Finger/Thumb
• Cervical radiculopathy
• Epicondylitis
• Ganglion cyst
• Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

A recent survey in Great Britain indicated that every year, an estimated 400,000 people suffer from RSI which was either caused or worsened by work, resulting in a loss of around 4 million working days in a year.


RSI and Computers

The use of computers has increased manifold in all spheres of life including professional and personal lives of individuals. This has in turn, increased the scope of RSI to the hands and arms resulting from the overuse of the computer keyboard and mouse.

The most prominent cause of this phenomenon is that the concerned muscles are kept tense for extensive periods of time, due to poor posture and repetitive movements.

This disorder can actually affect multiple parts of the body, including eyes, neck, shoulders, forearms, thumbs, upper back, hands, wrists, fingers and arms.

Research shows that 60% of IT professionals, who spend more than eight hours a day on the computer, are likely to suffer from the symptoms of RSI at some point.

Once contracted, such symptoms of RSI are extremely difficult to cure and can occur even in the young and physically fit individuals. In fact, people are often forced to quit their computer-dependent careers due to this disorder.


Key Symptoms

Repetitive Strain Injury in computers generally occurs due to a mixture of bad ergonomics, poor posture, stress ad repetitive motion.

A series of symptoms are indicative of the occurrence of repetitive strain injury in computer users. Here we list the main amongst them.

• Pain or soreness in the neck, shoulders, upper back, wrists or hands that occurs repetitively
• Tingling, numbness or coldness in the hands and wrists
• Partial loss of sensation
• Loss of grip strength, lack of endurance
• Weakness and fatigue
• Pain and numbness while lying in the bed