Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Repetitive Stress Injury - Exactly How It Happens

Repetitive stress injury (RSI) is actually a cumulative trauma disorder resulting from repetitive tasks, such as clicking the mouse, or typing keys. It can damage hands and wrists, muscles, tendons, nerves and cause some weakness, pain, numbness and loss of motor control. We identify many modern day jobs as having repetitive stress injury, but truly any career (even professional pianists) has the potential to cause RSI to employees, depending on the nature of the work. Examples of repetitive stress injuries could be neck pain due to reading books while looking down, shoulder strain from transporting heavy laptops or luggage, cradling a phone in between neck and shoulder resulting in pinched nerve and numbness, or pain in your wrists from typing on the keyboard.

People who experiences this kind of injury often complain of bursts of pain that worsen with activity, often resulting in weakness, lack of endurance as well as numbness, or muscle spasm. The most common areas to be affected are the eyes, the neck, the back and the wrists/hands.

In order to minimize the impact from the injury on employees, a program of ergonomics must be implemented. Employees should be encouraged to work with proper posture, take frequent breaks as well as disengage from certain tasks for a short time to avoid obtaining or perhaps exacerbating a repetitive stress injury. Often, people can be taught better approaches for data entry and computer use that limits their exposure to repetitive stress injuries.

RSIs often will deal with themselves with care and the use of proper posture, techniques and frequent pauses; however some RSIs could get worse and require surgical intervention for relief.

Additionally, workers who exercise often minimize their experience of repetitive stress injury, so exercise and frequent breaks where exercise is encouraged is often beneficial and wise. Having a healthy, active lifestyle that seeks to address stress and weight management is another approach that can minimize the effects from the said injury.

If you feel you've got a stress injury, be sure to let your employer be aware of your problem and have a referral for medical treatment. Often, employers will permit you to purchase ergonomic keyboards and office furniture from office supply to keep incidences of this injury to a minimum.

Help your co-workers or employers be aware of RSI and how you can help prevent it. Visit RepetitiveStrain-Injury for more details.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your information about RSI! I had been suffering from RSI for about three years and found strength to not give up in websites like yours! It is so hard to stay upbeat sometimes…
    I am currently assembling a Google map with physical therapists/physicians who have substantial knowledge of those kind of injuries. I was wondering if you know any good medical people I could additionally recommend on my map?
    Repetitive Strain Injury experts

    Thank you for your help!