The anatomy of the hand consists of 27 bones, along with muscles, joints, tendons, nerves, and ligaments. If any of these structures become injured, pain and loss of function can put a damper on almost all activities. Hand pain can also be caused by diseases such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. The wrist is one of the most commonly injured joints in the body, and as the hand and wrist are connected, many problems affect the two together.
As the anatomy of the hand is complex, and it is a part of the body that is constantly being used, the hand is very prone to injury. Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a condition where pain and other symptoms occur in an area of the body which has done repetitive tasks, in most cases the symptoms develop in an arm, wrist or hand, as these parts of the body most commonly do repetitive tasks.
The term repetitive strain means strain related to actions which are frequently repeated.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), or overuse injury, is used to describe a range of painful conditions of the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Mainly caused by repetitive use of one part of the body, RSI is usually related to a task or occupation, but leisure activities can also be a cause. Unlike the normal pain that follows a sudden injury, symptoms of RSI can persist well beyond the time it would take symptoms of a normal strain to ease.
Symptoms of RSI vary, depending on what repetitive actions are being done, and what part of the body is being overused. There is a wide range of jobs and activities, such as athletes, computer operators, typists, musicians, and people doing a multitude of repetitive tasks, that most commonly lead to repetitive strain injury (RSI).
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) symptoms in the affected area can include:
- Dull ache
The symptoms tend to develop gradually. At first, the symptoms may only occur whilst you do the repetitive task and ease off when you rest. In time, the symptoms can be present all the time but tend to be made worse by doing the repetitive task. Symptoms of chronic pain can start to affect almost all of your daily activities, if left untreated.
Surgery for RSI is usually done as a last resort, however, if you have a form of RSI in your wrists called “carpal tunnel syndrome,” one option to treat it is to have an open carpal tunnel release surgery. During the surgery, what they do is cut the transverse carpal ligament in order to release the pressure on the median nerve. By releasing the pressure, patients who undergo this surgery may experience a relief from their carpal tunnel symptoms, including pain and tightness.