Repetitive Stress Injury

BlackBerry Thumb

Body Talk

The huge success in the past few years of the BlackBerry and other personal digital assistant (PDA) devices has led to a new injury. Margot Miller, a physical therapist and president of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Occupational Health Special Interest Group, indicates that BlackBerry thumb is “a catch-all phrase for repetitive stress injury, causing pain and/or numbness in the thumbs and joints of the hand.” Swelling, hand throbbing, and tendonitis are among the symptoms associated with using the thumb for composition of e-mails and prolonged instant messaging.

Ergonomic Regulations Repealed

News Note

Adding salt to already existing wounds (literally), the House, the Senate and President Bush all voted in March to repeal former-President Clinton’s ergonomic regulations that specifically addressed repetitive stress injury and debilitating ergonomic injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome) affecting nearly 1 million Americans. Former-President Clinton’s ergonomic standard, issued in November 2000, would have protected as many as 500,000 work-related injuries per year and would have covered more than 100 million workers.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Prescription for Relief

Colleen entered massage school with all the hopes and dreams of someone searching for the perfect, mid-life career change. She simply wanted to help people, while making a decent living in the process. Little did she know the repetitive use injury she would fall victim to began early in her training — while she was still attending massage school. Unfortunately, as a new massage therapist, Colleen could help her clients’ pain, but she didn’t have the knowledge necessary to remain pain-free herself.