Computer-related repetitive strain injury

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Repetitive strain injuries, or RSI (R-S-I), occur from repeated physical movements, causing damage to tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. RSI injuries can occur in a number of occupations, but the rise of computer use and flat, light-touch keyboards that permit high-speed typing have resulted in an epidemic of injuries of the hands, arms, and shoulders. In addition, the use of pointing devices like mice and trackballs are also a cause of RSI. The thousands of repeated keystrokes and long periods of clutching and dragging mice slowly accumulates damage to your body. This can happen even more quickly as a result of typing technique and body positions that place unnecessary stress on the tendons and nerves in your hand, wrist, arms, shoulders and neck. Although carpal tunnel syndrome is connected with RSI injuries, it represents only a small percentage of computer-related injuries. Tendinitis (tin-duh-NYE-tis), bursitis (ber-SYE-tis), tenosynovitis (tin-oh-sin-oh-VYE-tis), thoracic outlet syndrome, trigger finger, and thumb and myofascial (my-o-FASH-ul) pain syndrome are all computer-related stress disorders. You can help prevent these disorders by using correct typing technique and posture and the right equipment setup. Good work habits can be more important for prevention than ergonomic (er-guh-NOM-ick) gadgets like split keyboards or wrist rests. If you have symptoms of RSI, immediately schedule an appointment with a doctor.

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