This article is from the Ergonomics and Typing Injury FAQ, by Dan Wallach firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
(note: most injuries come in two flavors: acute and chronic. Acute injuries are
severely painful and noticable. Chronic conditions have less pronounced
symptoms but are every bit as real.)
an inflamation of the tendon sheath. Chronic tenosynovitis occurs when the
repetitive activity is mild or intermittent: not enough to cause acute
inflamation, but enough to exceed the tendon sheath's ability to lubricate
the tendon. As a result, the tendon sheath thickens, gets inflamed, and
you've got your problem.
an inflammation of a tendon. Repeated tensing of a tendon can cause
inflamation. Eventually, the fibers of the tendon start separating, and
can even break, leaving behind debris which induces more friction, more
swelling, and more pain. "Sub-acute" tendonitis is more common, which
entails a dull ache over the wrist and forearm, some tenderness, and it
gets worse with repetitive activity.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
the nerves that run through your wrist into your fingers get trapped by
the inflamed muscles around them. Symptoms include feeling "pins and
needles", tingling, numbness, and even loss of sensation. CTS is often
confused for a diffuse condition.
Adverse Mechanical Tension
also known as 'neural tension', this is where the nerves running down to
your arm have become contracted and possibly compressed as a result of
muscle spasms in the shoulders and elsewhere. AMT can often misdiagnosed
as or associated with one of the other OOS disorders. It is largely
reversible and can be treated with physiotherapy (brachial plexus
stretches and trigger point therapy).
for just about every part of your body, there's a fancy name for a way to
injure it. By now, you should be getting an idea of how OOS conditions
occur and why. Just be careful: many inexperienced doctors misdiagnose
problems as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, when in reality, you may have a
completely different problem. Always get a second opinion before somebody
does something drastic to you (like surgery).