Many people are curious if the terms RSI (Repetitive Stress Injuries) and Carpal Tunnel mean the same thing. While countless may be in agreement that these two conditions are one in the same, they’re actually not.

Repetitive Stress Injuries is an umbrella terms for injuries that occur when a large amount of stress is experienced in a certain area of the body. The stress that is most common for these types of conditions are ones that have repetitive load placed upon them over and over again on a consistent basis. There are several different types of RSI. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is just one type of injury that may be experienced when an individual suffers from injuries that are due to stress that are repetitive in nature.

Causes of Repetitive Stress Injuries:

There are a number of possible causes when it comes to repetitive stress injuries. Those that spend long hours on a computer may be prone to this type of injury. Though, it has been found that certain physical activities, such as sports, may also result in the progress of repetitive stress that can be potentially harmful to several areas of the body. There are certain jobs that an individual may part take in that result in injuries to certain areas of the body. People that work in factories, an office, as a cashier, or those that play various types of musical instruments may be subjected to this type of physical problem.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

There is a small area in the wrist of an individual that is often referred to as a “tunnel” by medical professionals. This is a relatively narrow space. Yet, when a person experiences RSI, swelling is quite common. When the swelling distresses this narrow space in the wrist area, it causes pressure to occur on the nerves in the same area. These nerves are accountable for delivering impulses that are both “motor” and “sensory” to the hand. Unsurprisingly, if there is pressure on the nerves that have this obligation, the individual is likely to experience pain in the hand. Symptoms that may also occur consist of that of tingling sensations, weakness, and even odd sensations of numbness.


While Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a type of injury that happens as a result of Repetitive Stress Injuries, they are not one and the same. Repetitive Stress is considered to be the cause of pathology and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is considered to be the effect.
One of the most common causes of both RSI’s and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is simply incorrect workstation setup. Beginning with your keyboard and mouse to your chair and workstation, it’s probably designed to fit an average person. The problem is, a small number of people are average, and using one-size-fits-all equipment hundreds of times every day can cause substantial damage to wrists and other affected areas.

As Myotherapists if you visited one of our clinics complaining of wrist pain we would assess the wrist, arm, shoulder and neck as there are numerous potential sites of incorrect loading which would give rise to wrist pain. We would treat the dysfunctional areas to improve loading throughout the arm and educate you around the strength of your neck, shoulder, arm and wrist to prevent ongoing issues. Depending on the amount of time you’ve suffered from such complaint would indicate how long it would take for the condition to resolve.

If you have pain similar to a Carpal Tunnel presentation, please feel free to give one of our Myotherapists a call to discuss how we can help you.