If you've recently noticed tingling in your fingertips, generalized pain near a joint, or simply very sore wrists or elbows, you may be developing what's known as a repetitive strain injury. But what you may not know is that this type of injury can be caused by your work activities and the way you perform them. It's a common type of activity for people who have repetitive jobs, such as assembly line workers, typists, or tennis players. Here are three ways your job may be exacerbating or causing this painful injury.
The surroundings in which you perform your job may encourage your injury or make it worse. For example, if you work in a cold environment, that can aggravate the pain. Or you may simply notice that the pain gets worse when you're working in colder areas.
2. Long stretches of intense work
A repeated motion in itself isn't enough to cause an injury. But if you repeat the motion often enough, hard enough, for long enough periods of time, the risk of injury increases. Your body needs breaks and time to recover from the strain you're putting it under, so if you don't take time to occasionally stretch, shake the tension out, and (ideally) engage in some other task for a few minutes periodically throughout the work day, the strain may increase until it's more than your body can handle. The injuries occur when strain causes problems like swollen tendons, pinched nerves, and other aggravated internal parts.
3. Encouraging poor posture
If you're much too tall for your office chair and have to slouch all day, your body is likely to suffer many types of injuries including not only repetitive strain injuries but also back injuries. Repetitive strain is greatly encouraged by poor posture and any other work situations where you hold your body at awkward angles because the unnatural positions thus achieved put an even greater strain on the already susceptible tendons and nerves.
These three aspects of your work environment are common causes of strain injuries. Be sure to hire a workers' compensation or injury lawyer for legal advice if you're injured and decide to file a claim. In addition, you should ask your lawyer about the possibility of a personal injury case any time you're injured on the job. Usually workers' compensation insurance will prevent this, but in some cases (for example, if your employer hasn't followed the requirements for workers' compensation insurance or if a third party was at fault), you can sue for personal injury as well.