Posted by Michael Augustine Wagner on 06/18/2018

Repetitive Stress Injuries in the Workplace

Repetitive Stress Injuries in the Workplace

Injuries that cause you to lose time from work don't have to be as significant as breaking a leg or losing a finger. We have a great variety of industries and businesses in the Chattanooga area, and no matter what you do for a living, unfortunately, there's always a chance of getting hurt on the job.

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), for example, are one of the largest filings of workers' compensation claims nationwide and end up costing employers $1.8 billion each year. You could be at risk for an RSI if you perform the same task repeatedly or sit or stand in the same position for long periods.

What kind of work leads to RSIs?

Repetitive stress injuries most commonly come from office work. They might involve injuries to the upper extremities, like elbows, wrists, or hands, usually from repetitive keyboard tasks. However, there are many other types of work that can lead to RSIs, like grocery store bar code scanning, assembly line work, landscaping work, construction work, painting, massaging, driving, sawing and sanding, or sewing—and that's just to name a few!

The most common type of RSI is carpal tunnel syndrome. Its symptoms include:

  • Numbness and tingling in the fingers, thumb, and palm of the hand
  • Pain in the wrist
  • Weakened grip

Carpal tunnel syndrome isn't the only type of RSI, however. Repetitive stress injuries can also manifest as:

  • Tendonitis
  • Myofascial damage
  • Radial tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • ACL or MCL knee injuries
  • Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Dystonia (writer's cramp)
  • Lower back injuries
  • Trigger finger

Avoiding repetitive stress injuries

Some RSIs are simply unavoidable. However, with proper technique and modification, you may be able to prevent developing an RSI. If you think you might be at risk for a repetitive stress injury, try out some of these tips:

  • Before performing repetitive or prolonged tasks, stretch or warm up your muscles.
  • If you feel pain in any part of your body, stop or change positions.
  • Take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes to move around and stretch.
  • Keep your wrists in a neutral position when typing or using your hands.
  • Avoid bending your neck in an unnatural position for prolonged periods.
  • Intersperse light and varied tasks along with your heavy and repetitive tasks.
  • If your job involves gripping things with your hand, think about using a vise or clamps.
  • Also, avoid staying static in one place for prolonged periods. Remember to get up and move around.

The dedicated Chattanooga workers' compensation lawyers at Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law are here to fight for your right to fair compensation after a workplace injury. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to advocate for you. We serve clients in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, in North Georgia, and all surrounding counties. Call us today at 423-799-3532 to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Member