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Can a repetitive strain injury keep you from working?

Published on Nov 30, 2020 at 5:35 pm in workers' compensation.

Pennsylvania workers like you often do what you can to keep yourself safe on the job. Every workplace also strives toward improving the overall safety of their environment. But some risks are not easy to eliminate.

The risk of repetitive strain injury is one of them. No matter your job, you could risk falling prey to this common issue.

Is your work repetitive?

Healthline looks at how repetitive strain injuries happen. Their cause is simple enough: they happen due to repeated motion. In other words, if you do the same thing all day every day, you are bound to agitate your muscles. Some examples of repetitive work include:

  • Assembly line work
  • Grasping tools
  • Checking out items at a register
  • Typing or using a mouse
  • Answering the phone

Small, detailed work tends to cause issues in the hands and wrists. Other forms of work, like assembly line or registers, tend to affect the elbow and shoulder. Your upper body is more likely to suffer effects than your lower body. This is because you are more likely to do repetitive movements with your hands rather than your feet.

How do these injuries affect workers?

RSIs can and do prevent people from working. RSIs do not heal on their own. You must take time off to recover, because you cannot use the affected area during the healing process. Trying to ignore the symptoms will only worsen the injury. Some people end up agitating their RSIs to the point that only surgery can fix them.

The main issue with RSIs comes from the swelling you are likely to experience. This can caused pinched nerves, which results in numbness, pain, tingling or a loss of sensation. You may also experience weakness in the affected limb, which can interfere with your ability to work, too.

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