Many of the work injury cases that I treat are among the different types of repetitive strain injury (RSI) that happen to people while at work. Carpal tunnel, Bursitis, tendonitis, and tennis elbow are some of the most common, though RSIs can happen practically anywhere on the body. The cause of such an injury is, as the name suggests, repetitive movement that gradually damages muscles, tendons, nerves, and other tissue. Anyone can get an RSI, from factory workers to those with desk jobs—your job does not have to be strenuous to sustain one of these injuries, only repetitive.
Let me illustrate this point with one of the cases that I see the most.
A patient comes to me with back pain. We discuss his symptoms so I can try to pinpoint where exactly the pain is located. I need to know so I can treat it. But treating pain is really only half of my job—the other half is giving my patients enough information so they can prevent the pain from returning. I ask what his working conditions are like. He says that he works at a desk.
It’s so common that I’m no longer surprised.
During our session, we talk about posture and why staying in one position for hours at a time several days a week is not good for his back. Though sitting at a desk is not strenuous at all, he has sustained an RSI.
Signs That You Have a Repetitive Strain Injury
My hypothetical patient above came to me because he was in pain, and while it is one of the signs of an injury, pain does not necessarily affect all those who have RSIs. Other symptoms often occur when repetitive strain is present, and not all of them are obvious, so let’s go over them so you can spot them in the future and keep yourself healthy.
Though a repetitive strain injury can happen almost anywhere on the body, some places are more common than others. The wrists, hands, shoulders, neck, forearms, and elbows often experience strain from repetitive tasks like typing, working on an assembly line, working in an awkward posture for long periods of time, and sitting at a computer. Pain may alert you to the presence of an injury, but not always.
Other symptoms include:
- Temperature sensitivity
If you experience any of these symptoms and have a job or perform an activity that is repetitive, you might have a repetitive strain injury.
What Is the Next Step?
If you think you have an RSI, it’s important to visit a medical professional as soon as possible. Not only can your injury get worse, but also you might jeopardize building a good work-injury case. You should also report your injury to your supervisor as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.
Do you have a repetitive strain injury? Get in touch with us today to get started on your treatment and to get the workers’ compensation you deserve.