What is a repetitive stress injury?

| Dec 9, 2018 | workplace injuries

Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) can affect workers in many different industries and professions. Even seemingly safe professions like office work entail a risk of these types of injuries, which can become debilitating over time. Healthline offers the following information so you can take the proper steps to get the treatment you need if you suffer from RSI.

There are a number of risk factors associated with RSI. Repetitive movements are a hazard in many different jobs, such as people who use power tools, dentists and dental hygienists, janitorial workers, chefs, commercial drivers, and even musicians. The reason why these professions have a heightened risk of RSI is because of the movements used during them. This includes holding the same posture for an extended period, using the same muscles repeatedly, and lifting heavy objects.

There are a number of symptoms that may present when suffering from RSI. For instance, many people experience weakness in the affected area, as well as a feeling of numbness. RSI is also linked to pain, which can range from moderate to severe in extreme cases. Stiffness, swelling, tingling, and even a sensitivity to extreme temperatures can also occur.

In terms of treatment, most doctors prefer a conservative treatment. RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is usually the first line of defense. Medication can also be helpful for reducing swelling, as can steroid injections into the affected area. Many people also find splints and wrist guards to be helpful, especially when sleeping. If symptoms are impacting a person’s quality of life, surgery may be recommended.  

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