If your job requires you to make repetitive motions to complete your work, you may notice some stress on your joints, tissues or muscles. Moving your body in the same way over and over may cause overuse injuries. For example if you work in front of a computer all day, you may feel wrist pain from all the typing. Or if you lift heavy boxes or move machinery daily, you might notice shoulder and elbow strain.
While you are nursing an injury you received from doing repetitive motions at work, familiarize yourself with the basics of these injuries and how to recover from damage.
What is a repetitive strain injury?
Repetitive strain injury is the name of a host of different conditions. These disorders are also called repetitive motion injuries and can range from tendonitis to carpal tunnel. An RSI results from overuse or excessive activity in which you repeat the same movements. You may experience a lot of pain, clumsiness, numbness, loss of motion or diminished flexibility and strength in the affected area.
How is an injury diagnosed?
Most people start with a visit to their primary care physician who will assess the injury. The severity of your injury might be beyond the medical training of your PCP and if so, he or she will refer you to a specialist such as a hand doctor, orthopedic surgeon or neurologist.
Sometimes reaching a diagnosis is difficult if you have a multitude of symptoms. These symptoms can also evolve over time so to get a correct diagnosis of RSI, the specialist will physically examine you and run through a variety of diagnostic procedures.
What does treatment look like?
Correct treatment is essential in recovering from your repetitive strain injury because the earlier you start treatment, the easier and faster the recovery. Many patients rehabilitate their injuries through pain management techniques, conditioning exercises, stretches to strengthen the area, occupational therapy and use of splints or braces.
To pay for these medical treatments, injured employees often rely on workers’ compensation insurance. With the right professional help, you can recover to the highest level of function possible.