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Computer Related Stress Injuries



What is RSI?

Computers make the world go round. But working on the computer can be a pain in the neck and in the back and in the arm and in several other places. If you're wondering what we're talking about, it's a phenomenon known as computer related stress injuries. This is not something that can be taken lightly. While most of the sufferers are adults at present, it is soon likely to affect children as they spend longer hours in front of their computers. Parents should be aware of the causes and prevention of stress related injuries so that they can protect their children from future injury. 

Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are a group of conditions generally caused by placing too much stress on a joint, and they vary in type and severity. Activities that involve spending long hours on the computer or playing video games, or playing musical instruments or repetitive motions associated with sports like tennis are likely to lead to the development of RSI. Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical radiculopathy, epicondylitis, ganglion cyst, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and tendonitis occur when stress is placed on a joint, pulling on the tendons and muscles around the joint. As the stress is repetitive, the body does not have time to recoup and the affected area becomes irritated. This irritation results in the buildup of excess fluid in the affected area as the body attempts to relieve the stress placed on the tendon or the muscle. 
 

The different conditions of RSI

  • If you're experiencing pain, tingling and numbness in the region of your hand, you probably have what is known as Carpal tunnel syndrome. In this condition, there is swelling inside a narrow "tunnel" formed by bone and ligament in the wrist, which surrounds the nerves that conduct sensory and motor impulses to and from the hand. 
  • Cervical radiculopathy refers to a disk compression in the neck, often linked to a habit of cradling the phone on your shoulder. 
  • Epicondylitis, more popularly known as "tennis elbow" refers to elbow soreness. 
  • A Ganglion cyst is characterized by a swelling or lump in the wrist resulting from a jelly-like substance that has leaked from a joint or tendon sheath. 
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a rare, incurable condition that is quite painful. Its symptoms are dry, swollen hands and loss of muscle control.  
  • Tendonitis refers to the tearing and inflammation of tendons connecting bones to muscles. 
  • Twitching eyes; sore, tired, burning, itching or dry eyes; blurred or double vision; increased sensitivity to light are all symptoms of eye strain. 

Part 2 - Preventive Measures and Treatment

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