Many individuals are curious if the terms RSI (Repetitive Stress Injuries) and Carpal Tunnel means the same thing. While many may be in agreement that these two conditions are one in the same, they actually are not.
Repetitive Stress Injuries are complications that occur when a large amount of stress is experienced in a certain area of the body. The stress that is most common in this type of situation is the type that occurs over and over again on a consistent basis. There are several different types of RSI. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is just one type of injury that may be experienced when an individual suffers from injuries that are due to stress injuries that are repetitive in nature.
Causes of Repetitive Stress Injuries
There are a number of potential causes when it comes to repetitive stress injuries. Individuals that spend long hours on a computer may be prone to this type of injury. However, it has been found that certain physical activities, such as sports, may also result in the development of repetitive stress that can be potentially harmful to various areas of the body. There are certain jobs that an individual may engage in that result in injuries to certain areas of the body. Individuals that work in factories, an office, as a cashier, or those that play various types of musical instruments may be subjected to this type of physical complication.
The Symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injuries
There are a number of symptoms that may be experienced when an individual experiences RSI. The following details a list of the potential complications and uncomfortable symptoms that are likely to be experienced:
- In the area that is severely affected, it is common for a sufferer to experience a numb sensation. This may be accompanied by tingling in the area.
- The neck and the back area of the individual that suffers from RSI, or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a type of RSI, may become quite stiff and relatively sore.
- Very often the extremities that are affected the most will feel weak. Many may complain that the area feels “tired”. In reality, the area actually is quite tired.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at a Glance
There is a small area in the wrist of an individual that is often referred to as a “tunnel” by medical professionals. This is a relatively narrow space. However, when an individual experiences RSI, swelling is quite common. When the swelling affects this narrow space in the wrist area, it causes pressure to occur on the nerves in the area. These nerves are responsible for delivering impulses that are both “motor” and “sensory” to the hand. Naturally, if there is pressure on the nerves that have this responsibility, the individual is likely to experience pain in the hand. Symptoms that may also occur include that of tingling sensations, weakness, and even odd sensations of numbness.
While Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a type of injury that occurs as a result of Repetitive Stress Injuries, they are not one and the same. Repetitive Stress Injuries are ultimately considered to be the “cause” and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is considered to be the effect.
One of the most common causes of both RSI’s and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is simply improper workstation setup. From your keyboard and mouse to your chair and workstation, it’s probably designed to fit an “average” The problem is, few people are average, and using one-size-fits-all equipment hundreds of times every day can cause significant damage to wrists and other affected areas
If you’re ready to customize your work environment, Ergonomic Resources can help!
Article by Frank Barnett.