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Seek help for repetitive strain injuries to your neck

What's behind that constant headache that seems to be with you every night? Why are you losing strength in your grip and feeling numbness in your fingers?

You may be suffering from an injury to your neck without even knowing it. Many people brush off the warning signs of a neck injury because they simply don't realize the amount of damage that can be done through years of repetitive motion while on the job.

What causes the problem?

There are essentially three main factors behind repetitive strain injuries:

  • Unnatural posture or movements
  • The frequency of those movements
  • The amount of force required to complete the task

Each of those factors plays a role in how likely you are to develop a neck injury. For example, a painter may spend a significant portion of time with his or her head tilted backwards, arms raised to use a roller, pressing hard enough to transfer an even coat of paint onto the wall. Do it for a few hours, and you'll feel sore. Do it for a career, and you risk permanent injury.

How can neck pain affect you?

Neck pain doesn't just hurt -- it can impair your ability to function and enjoy your life. Chronic pain and headaches are a common problem with neck strain, and they may interfere with your ability to concentrate. You can lose your ability to turn your head in certain directions and develop pain that radiates from your neck into your shoulders and arms. You may even develop a "pins and needles" feeling in your hands or a weakened grip that makes it difficult -- or impossible -- to continue working your regular job.

What can you do about it?

Ideally, you try to stop the injury from developing in the first place by taking plenty of breaks and using stretching exercises to counter the constant motions required by your job. Unfortunately, you may not realize you're even at risk of an injury until you already have one.

In that situation, the best thing to do is seek workers' compensation benefits to get whatever therapy or surgery your doctor recommends. It may even be necessary to get training for another job that will put less strain on your neck. For more information about your rights to compensation for a repetitive strain injury, talk to an attorney today.

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