Is your job causing you pain?

Whatever your specific duties happen to be in a North Carolina workplace, you no doubt experience productive, happy days at work sometimes, while other days are a bit more challenging. Whether you sit behind a desk and type most of the day, work on an assembly line at a factory or do heavy labor, there may be days when you return home feeling exhausted or stressed.

Other issues can cause stress at work, as well, such as disagreements with coworkers or problems with a boss. If you’ve been feeling physical pain, especially if it’s in a particular area of the body and you are having trouble carrying out your daily duties because of it, it’s a good idea to try to determine whether you might be suffering from Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).

Non-dangerous activities can still cause injury

You might assume that, because you don’t work in an industry where your job is potentially dangerous, you’re unlikely to suffer a workplace injury. It’s logical to assume that someone who works on scaffolds in high places or in construction may be more at risk for on-the-job injuries than someone who works in an office.

However, there are several issues that you may encounter in an office job that can also place you at risk, especially for a chronic condition such as RSI. If you use a computer mouse all day, for instance, or work on a line where you repeat the same motion for hours, and you’re experiencing inflammation, joint pain, muscle pain or other RSI symptoms, it might mean that you have suffered an injury in the workplace.

Causes of RSI

You may have heard of adverse health conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis or carpel tunnel syndrome. These are all types of RSI. The following list shows some of the most common causes of RSI in the workplace:

  • Typing or using computer mouse
  • Grasping tools
  • Swiping items in a checkout line in a store
  • Working on an assembly line

You’re basically at risk for an RSI if you do any type of work where you are assuming the same posture, motion or activity over and over again on a regular basis.

Symptoms of RSI

As you get older, your body might have aches and pains that you didn’t have when you were in your early twenties. Sometimes, just going to work and returning home can make you tired and sore. If you experience any of the symptoms on the following list, however, there could be an underlying cause, and that cause might be RSI.

  • Tenderness in a specific part of your body
  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Tingling sensation (like pins and needles) or numbness
  • Stiffness
  • Throbbing
  • Weakness
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Pain

If you have these symptoms in your wrist, hand, forearm, elbow, neck or shoulder, you may want to seek medical attention so that a licensed physician can properly diagnose what is causing your discomfort.

RSI can have long-term effects

With RSI, the sooner you develop a treatment plan, the better. In some cases, this chronic condition can become debilitating, preventing a person from being able to work. In fact, RSI is a common workplace injury that is often on workers’ compensation claims and Social Security Disability claims.

Early diagnosis creates a trail of documentation, which may be useful down the line if the claims process becomes active.

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