DEBORAH QUILTER, R.S.I. EXPERT: I got injured using the computer. I was working very hard and I was working late a lot of nights. And, one night, I realized that I was very fatigued. I could hardly hold my hands to the keyboard.
ANNOUNCER: After struggling with her own repetitive strain injury, writer Deborah Quilter wrote two well-regarded books on the subject. Now, she teaches others how to avoid R.S.I.
ANNOUNCER: As the name implies, repetitive strain injuries are caused by too many repetitions of a motion without enough breaks for the muscles, tendons and nerves to rest. According to the bureau of labor statistics, most of these injuries involve the hands, wrists, and upper extremities.
DEBORAH QUILTER, R.S.I. EXPERT: You're using the same group of muscles in the same way over and over again hundreds of thousands of times -- I mean, if you're making a hundred thousand keystrokes or mouse clicks during the day, that all adds up.
ANNOUNCER: R.S.I. continues to be the fastest growing occupational illness. So it's important to be aware of the symptoms â€“ which can be as subtle as a tendency to drop things or a tingling sensation.
DEBORAH QUILTER, R.S.I. EXPERT: It could be soreness. It could be just an awareness of things not feeling right. It could be fatigue.
ANNOUNCER: The good news is that most people can recover from repetitive strain injury, if the disorder is caught early enough -and if work habits change. That's why it's important to see a doctor experienced in treating R-S-I if you think you are having symptoms.
DEBORAH QUILTER, R.S.I. EXPERT: RSI doesn't get better on its own and you don't have another pair of hands to use. That's why people need to know the warning signs very early and take them seriously very early on.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily!