Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries cause painful injuries to the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems due to repetitive motions. Repetitive stress injuries are common among workers that are required to sit or stand for long periods of time or perform repetitive tasks, such as typing, lifting, bending, stretching, or reaching. Pain associated with repetitive stress injuries can become debilitating and cause temporary and permanent disability.

Causes of Repetitive Stress Injuries

There are many different causes of repetitive stress injuries, but the most common work-related causes include:

  • Computer work, particularly using a mouse and typing
  • Continual stretching arms and shoulders to reach objects
  • Frequent bending to pick up objects or packages
  • Grasping for small objects, such as those on an assembly line
  • Prolonged standing for jobs in the retail, service, and entertainment industries
  • Prolonged sitting for office workers and bus or truck drivers
  • Poor posture while performing job tasks
  • Continuous use of vibrating and motorized equipment, such as jackhammers, construction equipment, and mechanical systems
  • Shoveling, hammering, welding, and lifting for construction workers
  • Non-ergonomic office furniture or hard assembly-line floor surfaces
  • Failure to take frequent breaks to allow muscles to rest
  • Improper use or failure to use personal protective equipment, such as lumbar support belts, knee or shoulder support pads, or ergonomic keyboards and floor mats

Repetitive stress injuries can be prevented or reduced in severity with proper attention to safety procedures and guidelines.

Symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries vary with job responsibilities. The most common types of repetitive stress injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tennis elbow
  • Joint deterioration of the knees, elbows, hips, and shoulders
  • ACL and MCL sprains, strains, and tears
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Disc location in the spine
  • Paralysis and nerve damage
  • Foot and ankle injuries
  • Raynaud’s disease

Symptoms of repetitive stress can vary, but the most common symptoms include:

  • Pain with movement
  • Tenderness, redness, or warmth in joints and tendon areas
  • Pain that prevents sleep
  • Difficulty performing activities of daily living, such as brushing your teeth or taking a shower
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Throbbing sensation
  • Weakness
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Decreased mobility
  • Loss of strength
  • Unexplained headaches or neck pain
  • Loss of coordination

Many times, victims of repetitive stress injuries delay seeing a medical professional, assuming their symptoms will improve or disappear with time. Unfortunately, symptoms relating to repetitive stress injuries will not improve and will become more severe over time without professional intervention.

Preventing Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries are not always preventable, but with early intervention and attention to safety procedures, the harmful effects can be reduced.

  • Adjust computer keyboard and mouse so that your wrists are straight
  • Put work items within easy reach to avoid over stretching
  • Put office equipment, work tools, and chairs at a height that enables you to work with your head, neck, shoulders, arms, and feet at comfortable angles
  • Take frequent breaks to rest muscles and reduce eye and neck strain
  • Use ergonomic equipment and tools designed to reduce stress on the body
  • Stand on anti-fatigue mats that distribute weight evenly over hard floor surfaces
  • Employ proper lifting techniques, such as squatting and keeping objects close to your torso
  • Grip tools with just enough force to be effective and not so much that your joints and muscles are strained
  • Use dollies, carts, and hand trucks to transport heavy objects
  • Change job tasks frequently to avoid repetitive stress
  • Keep the body strong with good nutrition and daily exercise
  • Stretch and perform warm up activities before beginning strenuous tasks
  • See a doctor at the first sign of pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • Report repetitive stress injuries immediately

Vineland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Workers Suffering from Repetitive Stress Injuries

If you are suffering from a repetitive stress injury at work, contact the Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law. Call us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.