Maybe you’re one of many Texas employees who have been working the same job for decades. Then again, perhaps, you’ve had several jobs over the last 10 years. If you’ve been experiencing discomfort in your joints, muscles, tendons or nerves, you might have a workplace injury called repetitive strain injury. Its symptoms are not typically immediately apparent. It is a condition that develops over time, usually in connection with repeated motions or postures on the job.
Have you ever had to call off work because your back was aching or you had so much pain in your forearm that you didn’t think you’d be able to type, run a cash register or work on an assembly line? Are you taking over-the-counter medication to alleviate pain more often? These and other issues might signify that you have an RSI. If so, it’s important to learn as much as you can, especially where to seek support to help you achieve as full a recovery as possible.
Parts of body that are most affected by RSI
If you have an RSI, you might experience symptoms involving your wrist, thumb, forearm or lower back. However, this condition can affect any body part, so never discount it as a possibility merely because it is your leg or shoulder that is hurting rather than the body parts mentioned here. If you repeat the same motions as you carry out your daily duties in the workplace, the body parts you use to complete the task might suffer undue stress, resulting in RSI.
Any type of vibration, compression, rotation or exertion can strain your muscles, tendons or nerves. If you sit all day or stand in an awkward position or if you are constantly bending and straightening while loading items onto a truck bed, for instance, it can take a serious toll on your body.
What treatments are available for RSI?
If your primary care physician diagnoses you with RSI, he or she may prescribe pain medication to help alleviate discomfort. Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area might bring relief as well. If your injury is severe, you may need physical therapy or steroid injections to help with pain and increase mobility. Sadly, some people suffer impairment from RSI that prevents them from ever returning to the workplace.
You might be a candidate for surgery if RSI has affected a specific nerve or tendon. You may also want to try wearing a brace or sling to increase comfort and to isolate the body part that is causing you pain. Medical care is expensive, which is why a Texas employee with a workplace injury can report the incident to his or her employer and file a claim to collect benefits through the workers’ compensation program.