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What are repetitive stress injuries?

Repetitive stress injuries, or repetitive strain injuries, can be a common workplace injury but you may have wondered what the term refers to. Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) occur in parts of the body that have performed repetitive tasks. Repetitive stress injuries generally impact the muscles, tendons and other soft tissue and can be painful injuries. RSI usually arises while performing work or tasks that require repetitive use of a part of the body.

Repetitive stress injuries can result from using a computer or computer mouse and can be impacted by poor posture or working conditions. Most RSI injuries result in the arm, wrist of hand. Workers who commonly work with computers or repetitive tasks in factories have been the workers most commonly impacted by RSI in recent years. The symptoms of an RSI injury, such as an arm injury, can include pain, tightness, a dull ache, throbbing, numbness and tingling.

Symptoms and strain related to RSI can be long-lasting and challenging to treat. Symptoms may also develop over time and may range from mild to severe. While initially the symptoms may only be present during the repetitive task, and may even be relieved with rest, gradually they may grow to being present all the time. There are also different categories of repetitive stress injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one common type of RSI but there are many.

It may help to improve the work environment of the worker but repetitive stress injuries may not be so easily relieved and should be regarded with seriousness. Workers suffering with any work-related injury face threats to the physical, financial and emotional well being which is why they should be familiar with workers' compensation benefits and other protections that may be available to them.

Source: Patient.info, "Repetitive Strain Injury," Accessed Dec. 29, 2016

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