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Causes of Repetitive Strain Injuries

Numerous different types of factors may contribute to theoccurrence of repetitive strain injuries but the most common ones includefatigue, carrying heavy loads on a repeated basis, direct pressure or a blow tothe body, stress, prolonged periods of work without a break, holding the sameposture on a continuous basis, badly organized work area without properergonomics, poor posture, forceful activities, vibrating equipment, coldtemperatures and overuse of the muscle on a continued and repetitive basis.

Statistical Data

Repetitive strain injuries are the most common and costlyhealth problem in the United States as it affects a large number of peoplethere and it costs more than 20 billion dollars per year in workers compensation.The most common types of repetitive strain injuries are differentmusculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome as they are known foraffecting up to 7 percent of the entire American population. In 62 percent ofcases of musculoskeletal disorders there are reports of limited activity andrange of motion. There are almost one million new cases of carpal tunnelsyndrome with each year. At this moment, there are more than 8 million Americancitizens affected by this type of repetitive strain injury. Carpal tunnelsyndrome is a medical condition with the highest number of days lost from work.According to certain estimates, each worker compensation claim for any type ofrepetitive stress injury may cost up to 100,000 dollars. It is an interestingfact that women are usually much more prone to the development of carpal tunnelsyndrome than men. The professions which are most commonly associated with thedevelopment of carpal tunnel syndrome include production examiners, productioncheckers, production inspectors, bank tellers, cleaners, janitors, fillingmachine operators, packaging machine operators, electronic equipment assemblers,insurance investigators, insurance adjusters, truck drivers, machine operators,proprietors, supervisors, order clerks, data entry employees, cutters, welders,clerks, laborers, secretaries, cashiers and assemblers. Another interesting statistic is that thereare 8 ounces of force required to depress a key on the keyboard. Typing at 40words per minute will add up to 12,000 keys per hour. A regular day at workexercises almost 16 tons of force by the fingers.

Specific Causes of Repetitive Strain Injuries

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition commonly caused bypoor posture or by carrying heavy weight. It is commonly associated withpainful sensations, tears in the muscles, scar tissue and a heavy compressionof the blood vessels. Tenosynovitis is a certain type of repetitive straininjury which is triggered by repetitive movements experienced by factory lineworkers and computer users. Arthritis and rheumatism are also on the list ofpossible causes. Tendinitis is an inflammatory condition which affects thetendons and it is induced by repeated strain movements. Another common type ofrepetitive strain injury is called Raynaud’s disease and it is usuallyassociated with the use of various different sorts of vibrating machinery ortools. Ganglion is also among the most common repetitive strain injuries and itis usually associated with lifting of heavy weights, repetitive motions andsometimes even rheumatoid arthritis. Another medical condition with a funnyname can be found on the list of the most common types of repetitive straininjuries, and that is gamekeeper’s thumb. This one is usually triggered byrepetitive movements of the thumb. Another one with a peculiar name is tenniselbow, but it is also medicinally referred to as epicondylitis. It is triggeredwhen the muscles of the forearm get strained due to repetitive movements.Writer’s cramp is another common type of repetitive strain injury, and it ismedicinally referred to as dystonia. It is actually a neurological type ofdisorder, commonly triggered by certain malfunctions in the brain. Anotherrepetitive strain injury which affects a large number of people everywherearound the world is the one commonly referred to as Dupuytren’s contracture.This is an idiopathic type of medical condition which may sometimes beassociated with alcoholism, diabetes, epilepsy and even hereditary factors.Numerous cases of diffuse RSI are commonly associated with those who tend touse their computers a lot. Overuse of mouse and keyboard accompanied by poororganization of one’s workstation are the common factors which lead to the developmentof such injuries. There is another condition whose causes are exactly known,but they are usually associated with various sorts of repetitive strainconditions. The condition is referred to as DeQuervain’s syndrome. Cubitaltunnel syndrome is one of the most common types of repetitive strain injuriesand it can be triggered by various factors such as tumors, infections,thrombosis or aneurysms. It commonly involves a pinched nerve and quite oftenit gets confused with the aforementioned carpal tunnel syndrome. The most commontype of repetitive strain injuries is bursitis and it involves inflammatoryconditions of the bursa induced by repetitive motions.

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