Work-Related Repetitive Strain Injuries
How to Prevent RSI: Work-Related Repetitive Strain Injuries
Work-related injuries can hurt your quality of life. District Wellness is here to provide you relief and ease from your work-related repetitive stress injuries. Contact today at (571) 568-8496 and start your pain-free journey with the best chiropractors in Arlington, VA.
Repetitive tasks at work that require performing the same motion again and again can cause stress and strain injuries in our nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Whether you have to sit on an office chair typing all day long and straining over a laptop screen, or your job duties include heavy lifting – any type of repetitive movement can result in repetitive motion injury.
Repetitive strain injuries occur gradually over long periods, but they can be treated and prevented if we take care of our posture and take periodic rests. Repetitive strain injuries occur gradually and commonly affect the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands.
Common Repetitive Stress injuries and their Causes
Repetitive stress injuries are caused by repetitive motions that put stress on the muscles, tendons, and joints. These motions can be from work tasks, like typing or using a mouse, using power tools, or from leisure activities, like playing a musical instrument or gardening. Some of the most common injuries caused by repetitive movements at work are:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – This RSI affects the hands and wrists. It is caused by repetitive motions that put pressure on the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. Typing and using a mouse extensively can cause CTS.
- Epicondylitis – This RSI affects the elbows. It is caused by repetitive motions that put a strain on the tendons that attach the muscles of the forearm to the elbow. Tennis and other racket sports can cause epicondylitis.
- De Quervain’s disease – This RSI affects the thumb and wrist. It is caused by repetitive motions that put a strain on the tendons that attach the muscles of the thumb to the wrist. Knitting, using a screwdriver, gripping a steering wheel, etc. can cause de Quervain’s disease.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome – This RSI affects the feet and ankles. It is caused by repetitive motions that put pressure on the tibial nerve, which runs through the tarsal tunnel in the ankle. Running, dancing, etc. can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- Tennis elbow – This RSI affects the elbow. It is caused by repetitive motions that put a strain on the tendons that attach the muscles of the forearm to the elbow. Tennis and other racket sports can cause tennis elbow.
Symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injury
The symptoms of work-related RSIs can vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. However, some common early symptoms include:
* Pain or tenderness in the affected area
* Stiffness or weakness in the affected area
* Numbness or tingling in the affected area
* Inflammation or swelling in the affected area
Practical Ways to Prevent Repetitive Motion Injuries
When it comes to occupational safety, RSIs are a major concern which is why preventing them is of utmost importance. Owing to the nature of these injuries, it can be hard to avoid them as missing work extensively is not feasible. But, the following precautions can be taken to help reduce the risk of developing a RSI:
- Taking breaks – It is important to take regular breaks when performing any repetitive task. Breaks give your muscles and tendons a chance to rest and recover from the strain of the repeated motions.
- Exercising – Keeping the muscles and tendons strong and flexible can help reduce the risk of developing an RSI.
- Using good posture – Maintaining good posture when performing any task can help reduce strain on the muscles and tendons.
- Avoiding excessive force – Applying too much force when performing a task can put unnecessary strain on the muscles and tendons. Use only as much force as necessary to complete the task.
- Adjusting workstation – Ergonomic interventions such as adjusting your workstation can help reduce the risk of developing an RSI. Some simple changes that can be made include:
- Adjusting the height of your chair or desk
- Adjusting the position of your keyboard and mouse
- Using a wrist rest
- Taking frequent breaks
If you are at risk of developing an RSI, or if you have already developed symptoms, these precautions can help prevent the condition from getting worse.
4 ways Chiropractors can treat RSIs
Chiropractic therapy is found to be quite effective in treating RSIs. Chiropractic treatment can aid in the management of a repetitive strain injury by reducing tension, pain, and inflammation. They might follow the following steps to treat workplace injuries:
- Manual Therapy – Chiropractors can help your joints move properly again with manual therapy. Physical therapy is also performed to help relieve physical injury pain.
- Soft Tissue Treatment – Relaxing and treating tense, injured muscles is the aim of soft tissue treatment.
- Exercises – Chiropractors suggest easy exercises that may assist you to relax and avoid future damage.
- Lifestyle Recommendations – To help you avoid work-related repetitive strain injuries, chiropractors might make suggestions about your diet, posture, and ergonomics.
Chiropractic care is often covered by workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been injured at work, your first step should be to notify your employer. Upon intimation, the workers’ compensation attorney will file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf.
Once your claim has been accepted by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, you will be able to receive the necessary medical care, including chiropractic care, to treat your injury.
If you’re struggling with a repetitive strain injury, the chiropractic team at the District Wellness office, Arlington VA can help. We’ll create a customized treatment plan to address your specific condition. Call us today at (571) 568-8496 to enjoy pain-free work life