Illustration showing wrist in pain due to Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) like Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Pain in the hands and wrists can often be Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) like Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and are often due to the number of working hours people spend at computers.

There are many studies that highlight that Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) including Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are reaching new and epidemic proportions and when you consider the number of working hours people spend at computers alone you can easily understand why.

Repeated computer use is often considered the main cause, however The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the government’s agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, have found that those that work in the construction and manufacturing sectors and health workers have the highest incidence of work-related upper limb disorders.

The simple fact is that certain repetitive actions, uncomfortable working postures, sustained or excessive force, carrying out tasks for long periods without suitable rest breaks, or a poor working environment do gradually take a toll on our bodies including our necks, shoulders, back, eyes and especially our wrists and hands which can lead to serious discomfort and even long-lasting damage and permanent disability.

So, what are the main differences between Repetitive Strain Injury and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Although both conditions affect your arms and do share some symptoms, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) specifically is caused by pressure on the median nerve in your wrist specifically whereas Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) can affect nerves, muscles and tendons.

What are the symptoms of RSI?

RSI is most commonly felt in the arms, from hand to neck. You may experience pain, aching, tenderness, stiffness, numbness or tingling in the affected area.

What are the symptoms of CTS?

As with RSI, you may experience pain in your hand or arm and some tingling or numbness, however the main difference is that CTS often causes weakness in the thumb and makes your grip weaker.

So, how common are they?

According to the HSE around 7% of us, 730 people in every 100,000, will experience RSI in their lifetime and these figures are expected to rise.

CTS is however less common with 3 in 100 men and 11 in 100 women developing the condition at some point in their lives.

So, how can you deal with RSI and CTS?

RSI Action says affected workers should talk to their employer about ways to modify their working space to relieve symptoms and risk. In addition, simple exercises incorporated into daily routines can help prevent it. For more information on RSI, visit

Simcox Oliver Solicitors are a leading specialist law firm with over 35 years’ occupational disease and personal injury experience.

We specialise in Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

We are unlike other industrial disease and personal injury firms as we only employ experienced and qualified lawyers to deal with your claim.

If you feel that you are suffering from RSI or CTS and wish to discuss the potential of making a claim please call us today on 0161 804 8004.


Discover more…

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive Strain Injury

Work Related Upper Limb Disorders