Repetitive Strain Disorder RSI www.charleshowes.com
What is RSI? • Repetitive Strain Injuries occur from repeated physical movements doing damage to tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. • Another name for the condition is Cumulative Trauma Disorder.
Related Conditions to RSI • Tendinitis • Bursitis • Tenosynovitis • DeQuervain’s Syndrome • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
What are the Symptoms? • Tightness, discomfort, stiffness, or pain in the hands, wrists, fingers, forearms, or elbows. • Tingling, coldness, or numbness in the hands. • Clumsiness or loss of strength and coordination in the hands. • Pain that wakes you up at night. • Feeling a need to massage your hands, wrists, and arms.
How Can It Be Prevented? • Ensure that the operator has a comfortable sitting position sufficiently flexible to reach, use, and observe the display screen, keyboard, and document. • Provide posture support for the back, arms, legs, and feet, and adjustable display screens and keyboards. • Ensure that the Video Display Terminals (VDT) tables or desk are vertically adjustable to allow for operator adjustment of the screen and keyboard. • Ensure proper chair height and support to the lower region of the back. • Ensure that document holders are used to allow the operator to position and view material without straining the eyes or neck, shoulder, and back muscles.
Some Specifics • Don’t rest the wrist on anything while typing.
Tilt The Back Edge Of the Keyboard Down • Recent research suggest that all of this may be easier to do if you tilt the back edge of your keyboard down, away from you.
Some Other “Tricks” • Don’t pound on the keys. • Use two hands to perform double-key operations like Ctrl-C or Alt-F. • Take lots of breaks to stretch and relax. • Hold the mouse lightly. • Keep your arms & hands warm • Eliminate unnecessary computer usage.
Other “Stuff” • Evaluate other activities • Don’t tuck the telephone between your shoulder and ear. • Pay attention to your body. • Remember that children are at risk too.
What If You Have Symptoms of RSI? • See a doctor right away. • Early diagnosis is critical to limiting damage. • Systemic disorders such as diabetes can mimic or exacerbate RSI.