What are repetitive strain injuries?

Countless numbers of Colorado workers suffer from repetitive strain injuries due to motions or other factors involved in executing their job responsibilities.

Virtually anyone in Colorado can find themselves suffering from inflammation and associated pain in the knee, wrist, shoulder or other area of the body. When this experience is related to a job function, treatment can sometimes be covered by workers' compensation. Understanding how to identify a repetitive strain injury is important as these problems can happen in almost any industry.

Two most common forms of RSI's

WebMD.com explains that the two most commonly experienced types of repetitive strain injuries both result from inflammation in certain parts of the body. The first of these is bursitis which is inflammation in the small sac that sits between bone and tendon in order to provide lubrication and cushioning when repeated friction occurs. Traumatic bursitis is the term used for the condition when it results from a work-related motion.

Tendons connect bones to muscle and these are also subject to becoming inflamed, resulting in tendonitis. In addition, the area through which tendons are positioned can swell and result in tenosynovitis, a condition often seen in conjunction with carpal tunnel syndrome.

A person can have tendonitis and bursitis at the same time. Among the commonly affected body parts are shoulders, elbows, knees, hips and biceps. However, these problems can manifest in other areas as well.

Most common risk factors for RSI's

People who must perform the same motion repeatedly are among those at the highest risk of developing a repetitive strain injury according to the Occupational Safety Health Administration. In addition, when motions must be done with great force or involve the lifting of heavy items the chance of becoming afflicted with an RSI also increases. Working in unnatural positions can impact RSI development. In many situations, more than one factor contributes to a person's RSI.

Who can get an RSI?

According to HealthDay, people in manual labor jobs as well as office jobs can become victim to a repetitive strain injury. Modern keyboarding is far more stressful on joints that typing on a typewriter ever was. This is because there are no carriage returns or the need to change paper, which introduced natural breaks in the repetitive motion.

Assembly line workers are also more susceptible to these injuries as advances in the workplace have allowed for more continual work to be done, again reducing natural stops in the actions.

How can workers get help?

Preventative measures can help some Coloradoans to get relief or even prevent these injuries. Ergonomics play a big part in helping to guard against RSIs. Taking frequent breaks to allow the used body parts a chance to rest is equally important.

When symptoms require medical attention, it is also wise for employees to talk to an attorney. This can be helpful if the need to file a workers' compensation claim arises.