When a person uses one part of his or her body repetitively to perform several tasks, he or she is more prone to developing a repetitive strain injury. When occurrence of such injuries is considered, the carpal tunnel syndrome is what first comes to mind. Activities like posture can also lead to repetitive strain injuries. For example sitting in one position incorrectly for a long period of time can cause neck or back injuries just as staring at a computer monitor for long periods can strain the eyes. Repetitive strain injuries usually cause damage to the nerves and muscles. In severe cases, such injuries may lead to loss of control of the affected part.
Besides computer operations, like staring at a monitor and using the mouse or keyboard, injuries can also arise from a host of many other activities performed repetitively for long durations. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by bread baking activities like kneading dough continuously, strumming guitar strings or pressing on piano keys can also cause repetitive strain injuries. With regards to gender prevalence, more women seem to develop these injuries than men, especially carpal tunnel syndrome. This can be attributed to the repetitive nature of most tasks performed by women, for example domestic or household activities. Most women have occasionally found themselves with an injury commonly referred to as trigger finger which is characterized by stiffening which leaves a finger in a locked position.
When a repetitive strain injury goes unchecked, it can cause the person to lose the normal functioning of the affected body part. It may even become difficult to perform simple tasks like opening a can.
Prevention has always been the best way to deal with repetitive strain injury. This is one of the reasons why some computer keyboards have specially designed keys to relieve pressure on the median nerve effectively eliminating the chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Sitting properly on a chair may be helpful too.
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