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Repetitive Stress Injuries

What is Repetitive Stress Injuries?

” Repetitive Strain Injuries occur from repeated physical movements doing damage to tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. Occupations ranging from meatpackers to musicians have characteristic RSIs that can result from the typical tasks they perform.” Repetitive stress injuries occur when tasks are performed under difficult conditions and awkward postures. Other terms used to describe RSI include cumulative trauma disorder, repetitive motion disorder, and occupational overuse syndrome. Recently the term upper extremity musculoskeletal disorder has been adopted.

In reference to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 150,000 cases were reported in 1997. Eighty percent of these cases were in businesses such as assembly, manufacturing, and service jobs. The remainder of cases was reported in clerical, sales, professional managerial, secretarial, and data-entry jobs. Because of the nature of their work, musicians and dancers also have a high incidence of RSI.

Symptoms Of RSI:

Symptoms from RSI vary depending on how bad you are affected. Early signs of RSI are muscle aches fatigue in arms, tightness, discomfort, stiffness or burning in the hands, wrists and fingers. After several months aching and fatigue remain for longer periods of time and affect your average day in life. Clumsiness or loss of strength in the hands may occur, the need to massage your hands arms and wrists on a regular basis are all symptoms of an upcoming disease.

Prevention and Treatment

Preventing RSI usually relies on changes in working habits and working conditions, pacing, conditioning and training. To reduce the injuries caused by RSI, it is necessary to improve the ergonomics of the work place. Ergonomics is the study and practice of arranging furniture in a certain way so work can be more comfortable.

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