Workers from all industries are susceptible to repetitive stress injuries. Office employees, industrial and warehouse workers, professional drivers and health care professionals are just some of the people who often make the same type of motions daily. If you also use repetitive motions to complete your job, you likely notice chronic stress and pain in those muscles and joints.
Having a basic understanding of these injuries and knowledge on how you can recover from the damage will bring you some peace of mind if you are nursing an injury.
What is a repetitive stress injury?
Many conditions fall under the name repetitive stress injury. Also called repetitive motion injuries, these disorders are temporary or permanent effects on nerves, ligaments, muscles and tendons caused by the same constant motions. For example, if you work on assembly lines, you might feel wrist pain from the excessive activity. Often this type of disorder is carpal tunnel syndrome, a common repetitive stress injury.
The overuse of your body may result in numbness, clumsiness, loss of motion, diminished strength in the affected muscles and pain.
What is the treatment and recovery process?
Without treatment, a repetitive stress injury can worsen over time. You may even lose complete function in that body area. Before things get to that point, most people begin with a visit to their primary care physician who will give referrals to specialists such as neurologists, sport medicine doctors or orthopedists. The doctor will diagnose your symptoms after a series of physical examinations and a variety of diagnostic tests.
People with repetitive stress injuries undergo rehabilitation programs catered to the type and severity of their injuries. The recovery process involves conditioning exercises, occupational therapy, pain management techniques and use of braces or splints.
Patients pay a lot of money for these costly medical treatments. As an injured employee, you can file for workers’ compensation benefits if an injury from the wear and tear on your body affects your job.