Can I prevent repetitive strain injuries?

Many workplaces in Alabama are brimming with hidden risks. Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are just one example, which can be caused by computer use, hand tools, or even working on an assembly line. Over time, these injuries make it more difficult to perform common tasks and may even result in workers' compensation claims when damage is particularly severe.

RSI is characterized by pain in certain areas of your body. Pain often appears in the elbows, shoulders, neck, wrists, and hands depending on the nature of the strain. Other symptoms include muscle weakness, swelling, limited movement, temperature sensitivity, and a tingling feeling in the affected area. Symptoms can be caused by a number of strain conditions, such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. 

Because repetitive movement is the leading cause of these conditions, people holding certain professions have the highest risk of developing RSI as a result of their workplace. Along with office and construction workers, cleaning technicians, chefs, commercial drivers, dental professionals, and even musicians engage in repetitive movements on a frequent basis. These professions usually entail a range of contributing factors, such as using the same muscles over and over, abnormal posture for long periods, and heavy lifting. 

Treatments options range from rest and ice to surgery in more extreme cases. You can prevent bodily stress by maintaining good posture when sitting or standing. If you work at a desk, take frequent breaks throughout the day. When sitting for long periods, take a brief walk to stretch your legs and spine. You can also position your work station in such a way that you don't have to strain your body to use the equipment. If you need assistance, talk with your employers on changes you can make for a healthier and more efficient workplace. 

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