Repetitive strain injury (RSI), also known as occupational overuse syndrome (OOS), is an umbrella term covering all kinds of work-related injuries to the muscles, nerves, and tendons of the upper limbs. RSI is a condition involving pain and swelling in the hands, arms and shoulders suffered by someone working long hours using continuous wrist and hand motions, notably at a computer keyboard and screen.
According to the USA Department of Labour, RSI cost American businesses $20 million in 1992, an eightfold increase from 1982. In 1991, approximately 331,000 people needed wrist splints, anti-inflammatory medication or rest to recover from the ailment. About 100,000 people also underwent surgery to cut the ligament and relieve pressure on the nerve (although this causes loss of hand strength in some people). 2000 lawsuits have been filed in the USA against computer manufacturers by individuals claiming keyboard injury. In 1994, one computer manufacturer put warning labels about the risk of RSI on its keyboards. In the UK and Australia, employers have been sued for not protecting their employees adequately.