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08 General info on injuries




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This article is from the Ergonomics and Typing Injury FAQ, by Dan Wallach dwallach@cs.princeton.edu with numerous contributions by others.

08 General info on injuries

First, and foremost of importance: if you experience pain at all, then you
absolutely need to go see a doctor. As soon as you possibly can. The difference
of a day or two can mean the difference between a short recovery and a long,
drawn-out ordeal. GO SEE A DOCTOR. Now, your garden-variety doctor may not
necessarily be familiar with this sort of injury. Generally, any hospital with
an occupational therapy clinic will offer specialists in these kinds of
problems. DON'T WAIT, THOUGH. GO SEE A DOCTOR.

The remainder of this information is paraphrased, without permission, from a
wonderful report by New Zealand's Department of Labour (Occupational Safety and
Health Service): "Occupational Overuse Syndrome. Treatment and Rehabilitation:
A Practitioner's Guide".

First, a glossary (or, fancy names for how you shouldn't have your hands):
(note: you're likely to hear these terms from doctors and keyboard vendors :)

RSI
Repetitive Strain Injury - a general term for many kinds of injuries
OOS
Occupational Overuse Syndrome - synonym for RSI
CTD
Cumulative Trauma Disorder - another synonym for RSI
WRULD
Work-Related Upper Limb Disorders - yet another synonym for RSI
CTS
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (see below)
Hyperextension
Marked bending at a joint.
Pronation
Turning the palm down.
Wrist extension
Bending the wrist up.
Supination
Turning the palm up.
Wrist flexion
Bending the wrist down.
Pinch grip
The grip used for a pencil.
Ulnar deviation
Bending the wrist towards the little finger.
Power grip
The grip used for a hammer.
Radial Deviation
Bending the wrist toward the thumb.
Abduction
Moving away from the body.
Overspanning
Opening the fingers out wide.

Now then, problems come in two main types: Local conditions and diffuse
conditions. Local problems are what you'd expect: specific muscles, tendons,
tendon sheaths, nerves, etc. being inflamed or otherwise hurt. Diffuse
conditions, often mistaken for local problems, can involve muscle discomfort,
pain, burning and/or tingling; with identifiable areas of tenderness in
muscles, although they're not necessarily "the problem."

 

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