What Is a Repetitive Strain Injury?
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is the term used to describe pain experienced in the muscles, nerves, and tendons that is caused by repeated movement and/or overuse. This condition usually affects the forearms and elbows, wrists and hands, and neck and shoulders. These areas often cramp, tingle, throb, or become stiff due to repetitive activity. In order for an RSI to develop, the individual action doesn’t need to be difficult, physically challenging, or harmful by itself. However, when the motion is repeated throughout a day or over the course of weeks/months/years, the combined effect can take a serious toll on a worker’s health.
Working on an assembly line, at a supermarket checkout, or even typing at a computer can lead to a RSI. Not only is it important to work in a comfortable environment, but your employer is legally obligated to prevent work-related RSI. This includes identifying or modifying the task or activity causing your symptoms. Many employers will carry out a risk assessment when you begin at a new company. This is to check that your work area is suitable and comfortable. If you haven't had an assessment, you may request that one be conducted by your employer.
How to Help Prevent RSI
- Maintain Good Posture At Work
- Take Regular Breaks
- Try Relaxation Techniques
If you work at a desk or computer for extended periods of time, try to position your work station to cause the least amount of strain on your body. Pay close attention to the warning signs of a developing RSI. These can include a dull or achy pain in the limbs, tingling or numbness in the fingers or arms, weakness or a loss of coordination, and fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, take note of the time of day they usually happen and what activities you just performed. This can help your doctor determine what’s causing the injury and how to best minimize your pain.
Workers’ Compensation for Repetitive Strain Injuries
Workers should make claims and seek medical care as soon as job-related pain becomes apparent. Workers’ compensation laws prohibit employers from firing or disciplining employees for filing claims, so you should not be penalized for speaking up about your workplace injury. However if you feel your employer fails to uphold their legal obligations, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC, we handle all types of workers’ compensation cases, and we have years of experience fighting for the rights of our clients. Have you experienced pain and suffering, medical expenses, or loss of income due to a repetitive strain injury? Our lawyers are here help.
Contact our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys for a free case evaluation. Let us help you seek fair compensation today!