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- Repetitive Strain Injury
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RSI is a general term used to describe a primary cause of a condition. It can also indicate an aggravating factor of a pre-existing condition. It simply refers to the repeated use of particular muscle groups as causative and/or aggravating factors.
Most often it is used to classify conditions related to computer work. It also includes most commonly writing with pen/pencil, activities involving prolonged periods of gripping, playing musical instruments, typing and mousing.
WRULD or Work Related Upper Limb Disorders is a term coined by the TUC (the British Trades Union Council) meaning repetitive strain induced by one's employment. This term includes conditions such as 'beat hand', 'white finger syndrome' and various other work related syndromes.
The principle is simple. For example if I were to stroke my cats' chin with my index finger once, there would be no problem, but if I were to do this one thousand times in an hour, both my index finger tendons and my cat would complain bitterly. The muscles and tendons effecting the movement would become tired and begin to ache. They should recover soon. But if I were then to perform the same activity each day for a week, I would probably find that I could only repeat it a few times before my muscles would feel tired and achey, plus, my cat, now with a bald chin would not be pleased.
Thus, any action repeated too many times, no matter how light, will produce a repetitive strain. 'Nintendo and Blackberry thumb' are classic examples.