Repetitive Motion Disorders
What are repetitive motion disorders (RMDs?
Repetitive motion disorders (RMDs)
are a family of muscular conditions that result from repeated motions performed in the
course of normal work or daily activities. RMDs include carpal tunnel syndrome,
bursitis, tendonitis, epicondylitis, ganglion cyst, tenosynovitis, and
trigger finger. RMDs are caused by too many uninterrupted repetitions of an
activity or motion, unnatural or awkward motions such as twisting the arm or
wrist, overexertion, incorrect posture, or muscle fatigue. RMDs occur most
commonly in the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders, but can also happen in the
neck, back, hips, knees, feet, legs, and ankles. The disorders are characterized
by pain, tingling, numbness, visible swelling or redness of the affected area,
and the loss of flexibility and strength. For some individuals, there may be no
visible sign of injury, although they may find it hard to perform easy tasks.
Over time, RMDs can cause temporary or permanent damage to the soft tissues in
the body -- such as the muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments - and
compression of nerves or tissue. Generally, RMDs affect individuals who perform repetitive tasks such
as assembly line work, meat-packing, sewing, playing musical instruments, and
computer work. The disorders may also affect individuals who engage in
activities such as carpentry, gardening, and tennis.