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How Can I Avoid a Repetitive Stress Injury?

wrist with red stress lines inside

Repetitive stress injuries are any damage to your joints, muscles, or tendons that result from repeated motions. Also called repetitive strain injuries, they tend to affect fingers, wrists, shoulders, elbows, knees, backs, and more. If you have sustained a repetitive stress injury due to tasks required at work, reach out to a Middlesex County personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and begin the process of seeking compensation.

Who is Susceptible to Repetitive Stress Injuries?

Anyone can have the potential to develop a repetitive stress injury depending on their occupation. Athletes, musicians, hairdressers, warehouse workers, and more can be susceptible to a strain injury. Continuous motions and repeated movements are the culprits behind a repetitive stress injury, and they can be required by many jobs.

Athletes make the same movements often and use quite a bit of force to do so. Whether throwing a ball, swinging a racket, or bending often, these motions can cause tendonitis, shin splints, tennis elbow, rotator cuff tears, and more.

Hairdressers stay on their feet and use their fingers and wrists for hours each day. Twisting their wrists to style hair and contorting their fingers to apply products and techniques can cause arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and trigger finger.

Musicians like guitarists, bassists, flutists, and drummers can all be vulnerable to developing a repetitive stress injury. Because of ceaseless finger movements flutists tend to have more cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strains than other musicians.

Warehouse workers and construction workers often develop strain injuries due to their work. They tend to handle tools often, like screwdrivers and wrenches. Their use requires twisting and turning as well as a strong grip. They also tend to do a lot of heavy lifting which can cause stress to the body.

What Should I Do to Prevent a Repetitive Stress Injury?

If you know that your job requires constant or continuous movements, it is important to take steps to prevent an injury. Take the following into consideration when determining how to avoid a repetitive stress injury.

  • Wear proper protection and equipment. This is especially important for athletes, warehouse workers, and construction workers.
  • Try to switch things up. Change tasks often so you are not straining one part of your body for extended periods.
  • Stretch regularly to increase blood flow and shake out your limbs, taking strain off of certain joints.
  • Exercise to strengthen your muscles and certain parts of your body that are more susceptible to injury because of your job. The stronger you are the less susceptible you are to a strain injury.
  • Take breaks when you need them, especially when you begin to feel pain.
  • Apply ice or heat to areas that are hurting.
  • Invest in ergonomic equipment. Adjusting your chair or computer height can remove strain. Different types of keyboards and mouses are more conducive to the shape of hands and can prevent stress and swelling.

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