We all work hard to provide food, shelter, clothing, and the like for our families. And most of us don’t have the savings built up in the event we’re injured on the job. You might think that, if you work behind a desk or in retail, you don’t work in a “dangerous” industry, but anyone can be at risk for a workplace repetitive stress injury (RSI) – and be eligible for workers’ compensation. Read on to find out more about RSIs and how they can affect you.

What are repetitive stress injuries?

Also known as cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs), repetitive motion disorders (RMDs), and overuse injuries, RSIs are conditions that affect a person’s muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and the like. Repetitive stress injuries occur due to the same or similar tasks being done repeatedly throughout a typical workday.

There are a wide variety of repetitive stress injuries, including:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Epicondylitis
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Ganglion cyst
  • Trigger finger

In addition, repetitive stress injuries most often have an impact on people’s hands, fingers, thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, legs, backs, necks, feet, and ankles.

What are the causes of repetitive stress injuries?

There are a wide variety of causes of repetitive stress injuries from on-the-job tasks. These include:

  • Repeated tasks without interruption or breaks
  • Unusual arm and/or wrist motions
  • Hyperextension of body parts
  • Poor posture
  • Muscle weakness and/or muscle tiredness
  • Repeated bending and squatting
  • Lifting and carrying heavy objects
  • Scanning bar codes or assembly line work

What jobs lead to repetitive stress injuries?

Some jobs and activities have higher rates of repetitive stress injuries than others. For example, assembly workers, computer workers, carpenters, gardeners, meatpackers, musicians, and tennis players tend to develop repetitive stress injuries. Masseuses, grocery clerks, machine operators, and administrative assistants also can develop repetitive stress injuries.

In addition, repetitive stress injuries can result from:

  • Driving motorized vehicles
  • Painting
  • Writing and typing
  • Pipefitting
  • Using saws, jackhammers, and the like
  • Stocking store shelves
  • Repairing vehicles

What are the signs and symptoms of repetitive stress injuries?

People affected by repetitive stress injuries often exhibit pain, numbness, inflexibility, noticeable swelling, and lack of strength. However, many people who are affected by repetitive stress injuries don’t exhibit noticeable signs of having repetitive stress injuries at first. Most RSIs develop slowly over time.

Alabama workers’ compensation law covers both traumatic injury and cumulative injuries, including repetitive stress injuries. If you have questions about your workplace injury, talk to the attorneys at Mezrano Law Firm today. We have offices in Birmingham, Florence, Gadsden, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. Call our office at 205-649-3552 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.