Volume 15, Number 2, May 1993, pp.39-40

Facts about Cumulative Trauma Disorders

by Chris Stavroudis

Here is more information on carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and other repetitive stress injuries (RSI) or cumulative trauma disorders (CTD).

Some of the other forms of CTD are:

Cumulative trauma disorders are much easier to treat in the early stages, so see a qualified specialist at the merest hint of trouble. The warning signs of CTS are:

To avoid CTD problems, the conservator should:

Reported problems for conservators:

When using hand tools:

When you work at a computer or typewriter:

When symptoms develop you must correct poor work habits. Begin implementing the modifications of your work habits discussed above immediately.

If you develop symptoms, you must not only change your work habits which contribute to the problem, you must examine all areas of you life. Activities around the home also have to be modified:

Treatments for CTD include:

Hope for more accurate diagnosis of carpal tunnel and other CTDs has appeared on the horizon. A research group has succeeded in modifying a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to show nerves with greater contrast. In the reported case, a body builder had lost strength in one arm. The modified MRI showed that a nerve in the shoulder was being pinched by a highly developed muscle. Surgeons were able to relieve pressure on the nerve by excising a piece of the muscle.


1. Anonymous. "RSI" (a bimonthly electronic newsletter for people concerned about tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other repetitive strains), ZiffNet/Mac; RSI1-9.SEA (self-extracting archive file). Issues 1-9. For more information, get in touch with crose@applelink.apple.com.

2. Apple Computer, Inc.: "Creating a Healthy Work Environment" Apple Computer, Inc., 1991, 030-1922-A, 12 pages.

3. Kizer, Kenneth W.: "Your Hands & Wrists At Work. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Preventable Disease," California Occupational Health Program; Berkeley; Sept. 1989, 8 pages.

4. Putz-Anderson, Vern, ed. "Cumulative Trauma Disorders: A Manual for Musculosketal Diseases of the Upper Limbs," Taylor & Francis, New York and London, 1988.

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