Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) make up a majority of workplace-related non-fatal injuries. Some people think that this means they are not serious. They think such common issues surely could not pose much of a problem.
Unfortunately, this is untrue. One single RSI has the potential to slam the brakes on your work career. But how? What makes them so risky? And what else should you know about them?
What is an RSI?
Healthline examines the impact of RSIs on workers. They also describe RSIs in general. These injuries occur any time a worker does the same motion repeatedly. Often, workers who suffer from RSIs have long shifts and work many days a week. Some work their positions for years before their RSIs develop. Others might develop an RSI within weeks or even days.
Most RSIs involve swelling in soft tissue. In particular, muscles and tendons can swell. This swelling causes damage to the swollen tissue itself. It can also cause pressure in surrounding areas, creating even bigger problems. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome is a form of RSI. Many CTS sufferers experience nerve damage. This happens due to the compression of nerves in the wrist by the swollen tendons and muscles there.
Where do you get RSIs?
RSIs often occur in the hands, elbows, shoulders, back and neck. These places often see the most repetitive motion. An RSI can take days or weeks to recover from. Unfortunately, there is no medication or procedure that can immediately cure RSIs. This is what makes them so dangerous to workers. The only way to heal is through rest. Workers often try to push through with painkillers and ice. This worsens the RSI. Some get bad enough that the sufferer needs surgery to fix the damage.
Workers often feel backed into corners with RSIs. They do not get enough paid leave to take time off to heal. This causes them to exacerbate their RSI, leading to more pain and more problems. Many victims seek compensation for this reason. You may wish to speak to a legal professional about this option.