How common are occupational overuse injuries?
Repetitive movements for prolonged periods can lead to overuse injuries in several professions resulting in work-related disability, with resulting costs of billions of dollars. Common injuries include bicipital tendinitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and De Quervain’s tendinitis. For example, 10% to 20% of musicians, typists, keypunch/calculator/cash register operators, and assembly-line workers will experience a repetitive strain syndrome. A recent analysis of surgeons and interventional physicians showed that the most common work related overuse injuries in this population included degenerative cervical spine disease, rotator cuff pathology, degenerative lumbar spine disease, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Early diagnosis and preventative measures are key to decreasing the incidence of these injuries. It should be noted that there is much controversy and debate over the scientific evidence supporting the relationship between cumulative trauma/repetitive strain disorders and many occupations.