Regardless of the physical demands of your job, there’s a risk of incurring a repetitive strain injury (RSI) if your work involves repetitive motions or maintaining the same posture every day. While desk or office jobs may not expose you to risks like heavy machinery or falling objects, they can still lead to injuries caused by continuous strain on certain body parts.
RSIs affect hundreds of thousands of workers across the U.S. every year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, the rate of musculoskeletal disorders (RSIs are a primary cause) was 27.2 per 10,000 full-time workers, resulting in an average of 12 days of missed work per injured worker.
Fortunately, in Alabama, workers who suffer from repetitive stress injuries due to their job duties are typically entitled to compensation, provided they can demonstrate that their work responsibilities are the cause of their injury.
RSIs are caused by overuse of the muscles, tendons, and nerves. Predominantly found in office environments, these injuries are often the result of repetitive tasks, awkward posture, or prolonged use of computers and office equipment.
Common causes of RSIs in white-collar workplaces include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, eye strain, and tendinitis are just a few examples of injuries that can result from RSIs that silently affect countless office workers.
The median number of days lost from work for carpal tunnel syndrome is 25; that’s longer than any other workplace-related disorder besides bone fractures. Unfortunately, RSIs develop gradually, leading to severe long-term consequences if unaddressed.
Recognizing the early warning signs of an RSI is crucial in preventing more serious injury. One of the first signs is a persistent dull ache or discomfort in the muscles, tendons, or joints. This pain is often experienced in the wrists, elbows, neck, or back and is typically associated with typing, clicking a mouse, or another repetitive motion.
Another early warning sign is the feeling of stiffness or tightness in the affected area, especially after a period of rest or first thing in the morning. There might also be tingling, numbness, or a pins and needles sensation, particularly in the hands and fingers. These symptoms suggest nerve involvement, which can be found in conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
A decrease in coordination or dexterity, such as clumsiness or difficulty performing tasks that were once easy, can also be a red flag. Fatigue in the muscles after repetitive activity should not be ignored, even if it seems minor. If you notice these symptoms, take immediate action to mitigate them and prevent more severe injuries.
If your RSI is work-related, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and a portion of your lost wages. There are several vital steps to follow to successfully file a workers’ comp claim:
RSIs due to ongoing stress on a body part can impair job performance. They may necessitate time off or medical attention to handle associated pain that prevents you from doing your job. Without timely intervention, these injuries risk worsening, possibly causing chronic pain, reduced function, or permanent damage.
You might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer from a repetitive strain injury due to workplace conditions or while performing job-related tasks.
Contact The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation for help protecting your rights.