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RSI may be divided into two main categories

Type 1 RSI

This includes well-defined syndromes such as:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (pain and squashing (compression) of a nerve in the wrist).
  • Tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon).
  • Tenosynovitis (inflammation of a tendon sheath).


Type 2 RSI

This is where there is no objective or measurable sign such as inflammation, swelling or problems with nerve function and the pain does not stay in one specific area. This is also known as non-specific or diffuse pain.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a median entrapment neuropathy that causes paresthesia (pins and needles), pain, numbness, and other symptoms in the distribution of the median nerve due to its compression at the wrist in the carpal tunnel.  The main symptom of CTS is intermittent numbness of the thumb, index, long and radial half of the ring finger.

Repetitive strain Injuries can occur wherever people are at work for example where manual handling occurs, where there is work of a repetitive nature or where people are seated at display screen equipment.  However, it is important to bear in mind that RSl’s are progressive conditions and the overall cost to an individual is pain, possible permanent disability, time off work and loss of earnings.

Below is a list of RSI illnesses:

  • Bursitis
  • DeQuervain's syndrome
  • Diffuse RSI
  • Dupuytren's contracture
  • Dystonia (writer’s cramp)
  • Epicondylitis
  • Gamekeeper's thumb
  • Ganglion
  • Raynauds disease
  • Tendinitis
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome