Overuse syndrome refers to soft tissue injuries due to repetitive movements of an extremity, neck, or back. The injury may develop over a period of weeks to years, and it may originate with an activity associated with the workplace or an avocation. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of overuse syndrome disorders, or cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs), reported by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; since 1989 CTDs have accounted for more than 50% of all occupational illnesses. This increase is multifactorial: Improved reporting, awareness by both employer and employee of problems, diagnostic advances, and more repetitive nature of jobs. In this first of a 3 part series, the data of a nationwide survey of histotechnologists are presented. The questionnaire assesses the kind, intensity, and duration of the tasks performed by respondents. These data were analyzed for statistical correlation with proven or suspected CTDs. Carpal tunnel syndrome was used as a model of CTD. (The J Histotechnol 18:139, 1995).
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