Repetitive stress injuries from job are becoming increasingly common, impacting employees in various industries. These injuries can develop from performing small, repetitive tasks with poor posture or technique and may cause chronic pain and reduced productivity.
In this blog post, we'll explore some common types of repetitive stress injuries in the workplace and how to prevent and treat them.
Most Common Repetitive Stress Injuries In The Workplace
The most common repetitive stress injuries from job include the following:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common repetitive stress injury when the median nerve, which runs from your forearm through your wrist's carpal tunnel, becomes compressed or pinched.
This typically results from tasks involving continuous or forceful hand and wrist movements, like typing for extended periods or using vibrating tools.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can include:
- Numbness and tingling in the fingers
- Hand weakness
- Pain radiating up the arm
Left untreated, it can lead to permanent nerve damage and loss of function in the affected hand.
Tendinitis is another prevalent repetitive stress injury. It occurs when tendons, the thick fibrous cords responsible for attaching muscles to bones, become inflamed due to excessive strain or overuse.
Jobs that require frequent gripping or lifting, such as assembly line work, construction, or typing, can put workers at an increased risk of developing tendinitis.
For example, office employees who type continuously using an unergonomic technique may experience wrist and forearm discomfort indicative of tendonitis.
Tennis elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a common repetitive stress injury when the tendons in the forearm become inflamed due to overuse.
This condition isn’t limited to athletes or those who play tennis and can affect anyone performing tasks involving repetitive wrist and arm movements, like typing or operating machinery.
If you suspect you suffer from this work-related musculoskeletal disorder, seek medical attention promptly.
How To Prevent and Treat Repetitive Stress Injuries
To prevent and treat repetitive stress injuries, you can take some easy-to-implement steps as follows:
Use Ergonomic Workstations And Equipment
Ergonomics is the science of designing and arranging work environments to fit the people who use them. Employers can prevent repetitive stress injuries in their employees by focusing on ergonomics.
For example, using a keyboard with a split design that allows you to type at a more natural angle can decrease the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, an adjustable chair that provides proper lumbar support can reduce the likelihood of developing back pain or sciatica.
Do Regular Stretching And Exercise
Regular stretching and exercise are crucial in preventing repetitive stress injuries at work. Taking frequent breaks to stretch and move around throughout the workday can help reduce muscle tension and improve circulation.
You should also engage in exercises that target specific muscles used frequently on your job like wrist and finger stretches for office workers or shoulder stretches for those who do a lot of lifting.
Incorporating physical activity outside of work can also be beneficial. Activities like yoga, swimming, or even just going for a walk can help strengthen muscles and improve flexibility.
Maintain a Good Posture
Maintaining a good posture and work technique can help prevent repetitive stress injuries in the workplace. This involves sitting or standing with a straight back, shoulders relaxed, and feet flat.
When working at a desk, rest your elbows comfortably by your side and have the screen at eye level to reduce strain on your neck.
If you work on an assembly line, keep your wrists straight while using tools repeatedly to prevent wrist strain or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Employers should encourage these healthy habits by providing ergonomic equipment such as office chairs designed for improved posture and adjustable workstations so employees don't have to hunch over inconveniently when working.
Workers' Compensation For Repetitive Stress Injuries In NY
If you’ve suffered a repetitive stress injury, you may be eligible for workers' compensation in New York. This injury type can be difficult to prove, but it’s important to seek medical attention immediately as symptoms arise and report the injury to your employer.
Under New York law, employers must provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees. If you’re injured on the job due to repetitive motion or overuse, your employer's insurance should cover your medical bills and lost wages.
Repetitive stress injuries from job can cause chronic pain and reduced mobility in workers who don’t take proper precautions. Fortunately, there are preventative steps, such as using ergonomic equipment and maintaining good posture while working.
If you experience symptoms of a repetitive stress injury, seek medical attention immediately to avoid further damage. Remember, employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for their employees.
Let Brandon J. Broderick Help you With Your New York Workers’ Compensation Claim
It is in your best interest to discuss your case with an experienced NY workers' compensation attorney, whether you have a repetitive stress injury brought on by a chronic workplace injury, or if your claim has been rejected. Our team at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, has expertise with employment law and workers' compensation. We are here to help you through this hard time and to get you the compensation that you deserve and are entitled to.
To learn more about your options, get in touch with us right away so that we may help you.