What Is Repetitive Stress Injury?
Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) occur when too much pressure is placed on certain parts of the body. This usually results in some form of pain, swelling or inflammation, tissue damage or muscle strain. Unfortunately, the number of workers suffering from RSIs is on the rise, largely due to the fact that people use machines of many types for long periods of time.
Types Of Injuries
RSIs account for at least 60 percent of all work related injuries and usually affect people who spend much time using certain types of equipment, for instance:
1. Computers And Keyboards. Most jobs today require the use of a computer. Whether it is typing or using a scanning device, the majority of businesses today are computerized. Therefore, the most common job-related RSIs involve upper extremities – wrists, hands and elbows. Lacking proper ergonomics and sufficient breaks, nerve entrapment syndrome, also known as carpal tunnel syndrome, can develop.
2. Bar Code Scanning. This is another activity that many workers do on a repeated basis. From grocery checkers to inventory managers, heavy scanning often leads to developing cumulative trauma injury to upper extremities. The repeated turning of the neck also cause RSIs in the neck, shoulders and back.
3. Constant Lifting. It also can cause tissue damage and moderate to severe back, hip and leg injuries.
4. Fixed Positions. Workers who have to perform their job, for long periods of time, while sitting, standing and grasping can lead to RSIs. Known as static posturing, these prolonged activities can cause nerve damage. This can include office workers, store clerks and mechanics, who are often in the same spot for very long periods.
As expressed by a Charlotte workers compensation lawyers firm,”…a worker who gets hurt doing any job-related task is entitled to benefits. This includes workers who get hurt at the regular job site or when off-site doing any required employment tasks. Workers who suffer from repetitive stress or occupational injuries or who get sick from exposure to chemicals or toxins at work are also covered.”
One of the most common ways to help alleviate RSIs is to learn about ergonomics, health, diet, stress management and relaxation from experts. For instance, engaging in regular exercise and taking breaks at work can be very beneficial. Additionally, ergonomics specialists and physical therapists have recommended that certain exercises be done regularly to alleviate pain, for instance:
- General fitness training. Virtually any physical activity can assist with RSI pain, as long as it is not excessive and serves to exacerbate the condition. This is why it is important to visit a physical therapist for guidance. Common exercise routines can include walking, stretching and Yoga.
- Strength training. Certain exercises that involve weights can work wonders to alleviate physical stress. This might include using stretch bands, dumbbells, machines or other equipment. Physical therapists can refer victims to the types of equipment that is best suited for each instance.
Anyone who has been injured by a work related physical stress injury should visit their physician or a physical therapist to learn how to deal with their pain. A therapist or doctor can put victims on a regimen that can help to prevent further physical damage.
Additionally, seek legal counsel to learn how to initiate a claim for workers compensation. The process can be daunting and with legal guidance, the likelihood is better that a physical and financial recovery will be possible.
In general, RSIs usually include over 100 different types of injuries and illnesses. The injuries can vary from person to person in their type and severity. Sometimes RSIs affect every activity and subsequently can last a lifetime.
Being a virtual worker and knowing the importance of taking breaks and limb exercise, enables Nadine Swayne to offer this information. At Auger & Auger, a Charlotte workers compensation lawyers firm in North Carolina, they aggressively represent clients who were injured at work due to RSI. With over 35 years of combined experience, they strive to get the compensation deserved.
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