Repetitive strain injury (RSI)  is a term used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by doing a prolonged repetitive, forceful, or awkward movement/activity repeatedly or for a long period of time. Injury often occurs in people who work with computers daily over an average of 2 to 4 hours or carry out repetitive manual work. The result is damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, shoulder, forearm, and hand, which can cause pain, weakness, soreness, numbness, or impairment of motor control in those areas. Not only are repetitive actions responsible for repetitive strain injury but poor posture can lead to severe chronic neck and back injuries. Repetitive strain injury is not a specific medical diagnosis, but rather a family of disorders. One recent study even reported that frequent computer users are no more likely to develop CTS than non-computer users. Therefore, everyone is at risk of some sort. You may be at risk for developing an RSI if you:

  • Having poor posture for a prolong period of time
  • Having poor technique when doing repetitive movements
  • Use a computer more than two to four hours a day
  • Has a job that requires constant computer use
  • Don’t take frequent breaks during work
  • Don’t exercise regularly
  • Works in a high-pressure environment
  • Has arthritis, diabetes, or another serious medical condition
  • Has an unhealthy, stressful, or sedentary lifestyle
  • Overweight
  • Doesn’t sleep well
  • Won’t accept the risk
Type 1 RSI
This includes well-defined symptoms such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, etc. These symptoms may be due to, or be made worse by, repetitive movements. However, these symptoms are also common in people who have not done repetitive tasks. These symptoms may have other symptoms such as swelling, inflammation, nerve compression problems, etc.
Type 2 RSI
This is where symptoms do not fit into a well-defined syndrome. Also, there are no measurable signs such as inflammation, swelling or problems with nerve function.

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