What are other types of Repetitive Stress Injury?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, while being the most common,
is only one type of Repetitive Stress Injury. There are three
basic categories of RSI:

  1. Repetitive Stress Injuries involving nerves: Carpal Tunnel
    Syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, ulnar nerve compression
    at the elbow and wrist
  2. Repetitive Stress Injuries involving tendons, muscles and soft
    tissues: bursitis, myositis, rotator cuff tendinitis, tendinitis
    including “tennis elbow” ganglion cysts, DeQuervain’s disease
    and trigger finger.
  3. Repetitive Stress Injuries involving the vascular (blood vessel)
    system: Raynaud’s syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome.

The following charts summarize the most common types of RSI and
their symptoms.



Other Names 
Primary Area AffectedShoulder, Elbow
TypeConnective tissue
SymptomsGrinding sensation, Pain or irritation, Restricted motion.





Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Other NamesCTS, writer’s cramp, occupational neuritis, partial thenar atrophy, median neuritis
Primary Area AffectedWrist & hand
SymptomsTingling, pain or numbness in the area of the hand served by the median nerve– the thumb, the pointing finger, the middle finger and the half of the ring finger closest to the middle finger. Sensations also occur in the palm and back of the hand. In more advanced CTS, the pain can be excruciating. Symptoms often are more severe during sleep.Loss of sensation, notably a feeling of clumsiness and loss of sensitivity to hot and cold.





Ganglion Cyst

Other NamesBible bump
Primary Area AffectedWrist
TypeConnective tissue
SymptomsBump or concentrated swelling.





Golfer’s elbow (Medial epicondylitis)

Other NamesTendinitis
Primary Area AffectedInside of the elbow
TypeConnective tissue
SymptomsPain or irritation on the inside of the elbow, often radiating down the arm.






Other NamesMuscle inflammation
Primary Area AffectedArm
SymptomsAching, tiredness.





Raynaud’s syndrome

Other NamesRaynaud’s phenomenon, Raynaud’s disease, Vibration syndrome
Primary Area AffectedHands and fingers
SymptomsUnusual sensitivity to coldPale white or blue hands, particularly following exposure to coldOccasional tingling or numbness. Can lead to loss of sensation & control





Rotator cuff tendinitis

Other NamesSuperspinatus, tendinitis, subdeltoid bursitis, subscromial bursitis, partial tear of the rotator cuff
Primary Area AffectedShoulder
TypConnective tissue
SymptomsPain, sometimes intense, or irritation in the shoulder.





Tennis elbow (Lateral epicondylitis)

Other NamesTendinitis, bowler’s elbow, pitcher’s elbow
Primary Area AffectedOutside of the elbow
TypeConnective tissue
SymptomsPain or irritation on the outside of the elbow, often radiating down the forearm.






Other NamesTendosynovitis, tendovaginitis, tenovaginitis, peritendinitis
Primary Area AffectedAny tendon
TypeConnective tissue
SymptomsPain or irritation, particularly while using the hand or armSwelling can occur.





Stenosing tenosynovitis

Other Names 
Primary Area AffectedAny tendon
TypeConnective tissue
SymptomsPain or irritationCan result in uneven movement of fingers (see Trigger finger).





De Quervain’s Disease

Other NamesDe Quervain’s syndrome, De Quervain’s disorder
Primary Area AffectedSide and base of thumb
TypeConnective tissue
SymptomsAching in affected area.Weakness in thumb.Loss of muscle tone (muscle atrophy).





Trigger finger

Other NamesStenosing tenosynovitis crepitans
Primary Area AffectedForearm
TypeConnective tissue
SymptomsPain in the forearm or wrist.Snapping or jerking movement of one or more fingers.Rattling or crackling sound in hands or wrists.






Other NamesTendonitis
Primary Area AffectedForearm, elbow, shoulder
TypeConnective tissue
SymptomsPain or irritation, particularly while using the hand or arm.





Thoracic outlet syndrome

Other NamesNeurovascular compression syndrome, hyperabduction syndrome, cervicobrachial disorder, brachial plexus neuritis, costoclavicular syndrome
Primary Area AffectedShoulder, arm, hand
SymptomsTingling and/or numbness in the fingers and hands.Weak hands.Atrophying muscles in the hand.


Pale or bluish hands (as in Raynaud’s syndrome).

Arm pain.

Chronic tired arms.





Ulnar nerve compression at the elbow

Other NamesCubital tunnel syndrome, cubital outlet syndrome, cubital canal syndrome, beer drinker’s arm, telephone operator’s arm
Primary Area AffectedElbow, forearm, hands
SymptomsTingling, pain or numbness in the area served by the ulnar nerve, particularly the little finger and the half of the ring finger closest to the little finger, as well as on the ulnar side of the hand and forearm. (The ulnar side is where the little finger is.) The sensation can be more severe at night.Hand weakness.





Ulnar nerve entrapment at the wrist

Other NamesGuyon’s canal syndrome, Guyon’s tunnel syndrome
Primary Area AffectedWrist & hand
SymptomsDecreased hand strength




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Thank you for your patience and consideration. Be safe and stay healthy!


Donald Fohrman
Donald W. Fohrman & Associates, Ltd.