"Dealing with Repetitive Strain Injury RSI through exercise
30 December 2008
For us stock market enthusiasts who have some notion on charts, RSI is a familiar term that measures strength relative to price and past days, or Relative Strength Index. Well in doing these computer charts, trading, and just web surfing, we can all easily acquire an unwanted type of RSI.
This is the hazard of Repetitive Strain Injury to the hands and arms resulting from the use of computer keyboards and mice. This can be a serious and very painful condition that is far easier to prevent than to cure once contracted, and can occur even in young physically fit individuals. It is not uncommon for people to have to leave computer-dependent careers as a result, or even to be disabled and unable to perform tasks such as driving or dressing themselves.
I am not a health care professional, but the research featured on this page may provide a very brief introduction to RSI for the benefit of computer users who may not be aware of the potential for a life-altering injury.
What is RSI?
Repetitive Strain Injuries occur from repeated physical movements doing damage to tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. Occupations ranging from meat packers to musicians have characteristic RSIs that can result from the typical tasks they perform. The rise of computer use and flat, light-touch keyboards that permit high speed typing have resulted in an epidemic of injuries of the hands, arms, and shoulders. Use of pointing devices like mice and trackballs are as much a cause, if not more so. The thousands of repeated keystrokes and long periods of clutching and dragging with mice slowly accumulates damage to the body : another name for the condition is Cumulative Trauma Disorder. This can happen even more quickly as a result of typing technique and body positions that place unnecessary stress on the tendons and nerves in the hand, wrist, arms, and even the shoulders and neck. Lack of adequate rest and breaks and using excessive force almost guarantee trouble.
You may have heard the term Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in connection with these injuries, but in fact CTS is only a small and dangerous percentage of typing injuries. Tendinitis, Bursitis , Tenosynovitis / DeQuervain's Syndrome , Tendinosis , Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Trigger Finger/Thumb , Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, and several other related conditions may also be involved. All of these are serious and in advanced cases can cause great pain and permanent disability. In addition, patients injured by repetitive strain sometimes develop Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), discussed here and here .
What are the Symptoms?
* Tightness, discomfort, stiffness, soreness or burning 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
* Pain in the upper back, shoulders, or neck associated with using the computer." (Continued via FinanceManila) [Ergonomics Resources]