RSI: oxygen consumption, blood flow, and reoxygenation in patients suffering RSI measured by noninvasive optical spectroscopy


Background: Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a major problem in nowadays health care and creates high financial costs and personal distress. Average prevalence rates in the Netherlands vary from 20-40% of the working population. Insight into the patho-physiological mechanism of RSI is important in order to establish adequate treatment and prevention programs. Objective: The aim of this study was to gain insight in muscle oxygen consumption (mVO(2)), blood flow (BF), and reoxygenation (ReOx) in the forearm of computer workers with stage III Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Method: We have used continuous wave infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure these variables. Measurements were conducted on the extensor and flexor muscle in both arms as well in RSI-patients (n=10) as in control subjects (n=21). A protocol of increased isometric repetitive contraction in a handgrip ergonometer was used with increasing levels of strength. Results: mVO(2) in the extensor muscle in RSI-subjects (dominant side) was increased compared to control subjects and compared to the non-dominant side (p<0.05). ReOx was not increased in RSI (dominant side-extensor muscle). However, there was a tendency towards statistical significance (p=0.065). BF in rest was equal in both groups, however after exercise it tended to be increased. Half-time recovery (T-1/2) was measured during only one part of the protocol and it was significantly increased (p<0.05). Conclusion: mVO(2) in RSI is impaired. BF and ReOx did not show difference between both groups. Future research should aim at a microvascular dysfunction in RSI.

Optical Tomography and Spectroscopy of Tissue V