Identifying and preventing repetitive strain injuries

Many workers have to do repetitive motions throughout the day. Whether they are making food, cleaning, typing, writing, organizing or anything else, usually there are similar movements that must be made multiple times in a day. This can cause repetitive strain injury.

The first thing to understand is that a repetitive strain injury is in relation to the upper body specifically, not the lower body. According to the National Health Service, this condition can affect the shoulders, neck, wrists and hands, elbows and forearms. Symptoms can include stiffness in the joints, tenderness, unspecified pain, numbness or tingling sensation and excessive cramping. The cause of these symptoms is usually because a part of the upper body has been overworked continuously over a period of time, causing nerve, muscle and joint damage.

Identification and prevention of repetitive strain injuries can include many different methods. The University of Michigan lists several prevention methods, including understanding and exercising proper posture at all times, especially when at a desk job. It also encourages people who do a lot of typing or repetitive movement to stop frequently and stretch, or to do muscle exercises that will strengthen the muscles used in work. Taking breaks, exercising and not over-stretching are all important.

Taking these precautionary measures can help a worker avoid repetitive stress or strain injury, which can take a toll on work performance and someone’s ability to do their job. This is why it is important to keep an eye on upper body health and to work on preventative care as soon and frequently as possible.


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