Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are a family of injuries affecting tendons, tendon sheaths (the layer covering the tendon), muscles, nerves and joints. They cause persistent or recurring pains most commonly in the neck, shoulders, forearms, hands, wrists, elbows and lower limbs.
The term “repetitive strain” injury is misleading. Unlike other diseases, RSIs are not easily classified because they have a variety of causes and include injuries to different parts of the body. A number of terms are applied to such injuries including: repetitive injury, repetitive motion injury, repetitive trauma, overuse injury, cumulative trauma disorder and occupational musculoskeletal disorder. The different terms indicate that such injuries involve repetition, and can also be caused by force, rapid movement, overuse, static loading, excessive strain, uncomfortable positioning of limbs or holding one’s posture in an unnatural, constrained or constricted position. These types of injuries are very common in the workplace, especially with repetitive tasks.
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