The most common of work injuries is repetitive strain injury which afflicts workers in both white and blue-collar jobs. People doing any type of work that requires repeated motion of the same parts of the body are at risk. This includes people who frequently work with computer keyboards. The two most common forms of this injury are tendonitis and bursitis. Tendonitis occurs when a tendon, a fibrous tissue connecting muscle to bone, becomes inflamed. Bursitis occurs when a bursa, which is a sac that cushions the space between tendon and bone, becomes inflamed.
The joints affected by repetitive strain injury include but are not limited to:
- The wrists
Unlike many other injuries that have a sudden onset and immediate debilitating effect, repetitive strain takes time to develop and progressively worsens. Its gradual development causes many workers to ignore the symptoms and attempt to work through the pain. This is a mistake because it can turn into a disabling condition which may prevent you from working at your job. Even activities such as putting on clothing, bathing, opening doors, or driving a car may become impossible to do. Failure to deal with a repetitive strain injury can have life altering consequences.
Prevention of this condition depends on the specifics of your work activities. To avoid wrist problems from computer work, it’s important to keep your wrists in a straight and neutral position in which they aren’t bent or flexed, and to use light keystrokes at the keyboard. Generic tips covering all work activities include:
- Taking regular rest breaks.
- Doing stretching exercises.
- Varying your routine.
- Using ergonomic tools, devices, chairs, etc.
- Using proper work technique.
- Staying physically fit.
Symptoms That Require a Doctor’s Attention
- Pain when moving the affected joint.
- Redness, tenderness, and warmth of the affected area.
- Difficulty doing ordinary daily activities.
It’s important to see a doctor to verify that your problem is repetitive strain and to determine if it was caused by your job. Once verified, immediately notify your employer of your condition to start the workers’ compensation claims process. However, you should seek the advice of an Odessa work injury lawyer if your employer is resisting your efforts or if the claim fails to adequately cover your recovery expenses. Contact us at CHILDS BISHOP & WHITE P.C. for a free consultation.