repetitive strain injury

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repetitive stress injury

repetitive stress injury or repetitive strain injury (RSI), injury caused by repeated movement of a particular part of the body. Often seen in workers whose physical routine is unvaried, RSI has become epidemic since computers have entered the workplace in large numbers. Many RSIs develop when the sheaths that cover muscle tendons swell and press on nerves. Constant typing can cause one form of RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome, a sometimes disabling pain and tingling in the thumb and first two fingers. It is caused by swelling and pressure on the median nerve passing through the wrist. Other common problems are rotator cuff injury, from overuse of the shoulder; tennis elbow, inflammation of a tendon in the elbow from overuse of the forearm; and back injuries from repeated heavy lifting. A 1998 report by the National Academy of Sciences in the United States called RSI a serious national problem, with financial costs ranging up to $20 billion annually.

Treatment of RSI usually begins with attempts to change the conditions that caused the injury. Often, exercises and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed; in some cases surgery is necessary. Many workers' compensation cases and lawsuits relating to RSI have been brought against employers and product manufacturers. To avoid the high costs of RSI, some businesses have introduced ergonomic workstations and enforced rest periods.

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repetitive strain injury

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(Repetitive Strain Injury) Ailments of the hands, neck, back and eyes due to computer use. The remedy for RSI is frequent breaks which should include stretching or yoga postures. See carpal tunnel syndrome, Maltron keyboard, wrist rest, Nintendo thumb, iPod finger and repetitive brain injury.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Well, if you're sending lots of text messages, you may have the trendiest new malady: 'BlackBerry thumb.'
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I suffer from what some would call BlackBerry thumb. It's repetitive stress and pain all the time from overuse of my smartphone Treo.
And just in ease you missed it, have you heard of the newest cumulative trauma disorder: "Blackberry thumb." That's the beating your muscles and tendons in the thumb take from spinning the wheel of your Blackberry devices, according to Connie Guy, former global risk manager for Graphic Packaging International Inc., and Wayne Maynard, director of ergonomics and tribology with the Liberty Mutual Loss Prevention Group in Hopkinton.
Blackberry thumb is the new medical condition sending harassed executives in search of therapy.
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Even white collar workers today are suffering "Blackberry thumb," a kind of repetitive stress injury that comes from working with their PDAs way too much.