Re: Repetitive motion syndrome

From:Aidan Schurr <>

Hi Bruce.

This is something several of my techs have had severe problems with.  We call it OOS (occupational overuse syndrome) here in New Zealand.  While it is in the nature of the job to get this kind of injury, there are certain things one can do to minimise it's effects.  The problems associated with OOS or RMS, contrary to popular belief, are largely due to lack of blood flow to the affected area.  When you are standing (or sitting) for two to three hours with your right arm held out in front of you for most of the time, blood flow to this area decreased (as the muscles are tensed).  This in itself is not a huge problem if your arm is stationary, but it is not.  When the repetitive motion is added to the equation, you start to get severe blood flow problems, specifically in and around the joints.  This is where micropauses come in.  By altering the way you do the task, you can get back that vital blood flow.  In our case, this means that we now pick up our next block with our left hand, letting the right hand drop loosely by our side for the three second this task takes.  It really is as simple as that.  We have also altered the set up of our workstaions to decrease the "up and down" between microtome, waterbath and hotbox.

Best of luck



aidan schurr
section head, histology
hutt valley health
lower hutt
new zealand
++64 4 570 9173

>>> Bruce Gapinski <> 6:34:38 a.m. Thursday, 26 April 2001 >>>
I've lost a wonderful tech to RMS in her right arm. It's her epicondyle. Now
I'm getting the same symptoms in both of my arms. What can we do? I'm trying
to stretch my arms w/ a product called the Wrist Wand, and that helps a
little. My doctor has me on Vioxx (anti-inflammatory drug). I need help, and
so does my staff! 
Bruce Gapinski HT(ASCP)

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