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DianeHaught
Post subject: What is RSI and what are the causes?  PostPosted: Oct 06, 2005 - 10:23 AM





Sergeant
What is RSI and what are the causes?

There are two types of RSI: Type 1 and Type 2. Both types of RSI can be brought on by a variety of issues surrounding your working environment, posture and activities. Below we highlight the key issues to be aware of.


Type 1 RSI

This is easily diagnosable. Type 1 problems are specific problems in localised places which respond to tests and can be treated or operated on eg Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Type 2 RSI
This is also known as non-specific or 'diffuse' RSI. The source of the pain itself can't easily be pin-pointed and is not easily diagnosable. The symptoms which may include numbness, tingling, sharp pain, dull ache, weakness and restricted joint movements, often occur in both arms and the neck. Recent research suggests that these diffuse symptoms are attributable to nerve damage. The best treatment for Type 2 RSI is a course of physiotherapy.



Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

The carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the wrist. It houses the median nerve and tendons. CTS occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the carpal tunnel.

CTS is usually due to a congenital predisposition - the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as a sprain, fracture or overuse. Pregnancy and rheumatoid arthritis can also cause swelling and hence nerve compression in the carpal tunnel.

The symptoms:

Numbness, burning or tingling of the fingers (excluding the little finger). In extreme situations the pain may extend up the arm and into the shoulder and neck. Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, perhaps because the carpal tunnel itself may be smaller in women than in men. Shaking or massaging your hands can provide some relief from the symptoms. Doctors may use nerve conduction studies to determine CTS. Severe cases may be operated on to relieve the pressure in the carpal tunnel.


Tendinitis

This is the swelling of the tendons which connect muscles to the bones and inflammation of the lining of the protective synovial sheath that covers these tendons. The hands are commonly affected.

The Symptoms

Tendinitis results in pain and localised tenderness. The thickening and scarring of the muscle may prevent the affected fingers or limbs from going through their normal range of movements. The increase in pain and disability is usually gradual. The most common factor is overloading the tendon through repetitive physical activity. At work it can occur from overuse of the keyboard or computer mouse.


What is Tenosynovitis?

This is the swelling of the tendons which connect muscles to the bones and inflammation of the lining of the protective synovial sheath that covers these tendons. Area most frequently affected are the hand.
De Quervain's or Stenosing Tenosynovitis
This results from inflammation or constriction of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. A localised swelling affecting the flexor tendons of the hand is known as Trigger Finger.

The Symptoms
When the gliding surfaces of the tendon and sheath become roughened and inflamed from overuse, tenosynovitis will occur as aching, tenderness and swelling of the affected area. There may also be also stiffness of the joint, shooting pains up the arm and creaking tendons (crepitus). The ability to grip can be lost. A localised swelling at the base of the thumb may indicate De Quervain's. Tenosynovitis can just last a few days, but in some cases may go on for many weeks or even months. Usually, however, treatment can help. At work it can occur from overuse of the keyboard or computer mouse. Tenderness and swelling over and around the inflamed tendon are the obvious signs that a doctor will look for. When a joint is moved there may be a crackling noise, audible using a stethoscope or with an ear placed against the affected area. This may sometimes be felt with the finger-tips. De Quervain's is usually diagnosed by a positive 'Finkelstein's test'; bending the wrist whilst grasping the thumb causing extreme pain.


Medical Information
It is not the intention of Raptor-Pack to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Raptor-Pack urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions and specific medical advice


Wave

Hug

Diane



"I'd rather regret something I did, than regret never doing it at all"
 
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