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Understanding repetitive stress injuries

Repetitive stress injuries are a type of overuse injury that occur when someone repeats the same motions for hours on end and days on end. It is often found in workers who spend hours at keyboard work. This is not a new disease, though.

The first instances of RSI were found in 1912 in telegraph operators. They complained of "telegraphists' cramp." Other workers also suffered from RSI, including Morse Code operators during World War I who got what was called "glass arm." Seamstresses, construction workers and meat packers were also diagnosed with similar injuries caused from repetitive motion.

Those most susceptible to RSI are manufacturing workers. In the last 25 years, though, computer users are wearing arm splints and missing work because of the pain of RSI. Surgery is also one treatment that many computer workers are have to undergo.

There are many tips that you can follow to help prevent RSI. For those that use a computer, these include:

-- Use a soft touch when using a keyboard.

-- Put the monitor where it is directly in front of you.

-- Make sure the mouse and keyboard are set to where you can relax your shoulders while working.

-- Avoid bending your wrists.

-- Use a chair that supports your spine.

-- Keep your feet flatly on the floor.

-- Take frequent breaks and stretch.

-- If you suffer from RSI, limit the amount of time you work on the computer.

If you suffer from RSI, you may have a claim for workers' compensation. An experienced attorney can help you appeal a claim denial if your claim is not approved initially.

Source: HealthDay, "Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI)," Paige Bierma, accessed June 24, 2016

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