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Spotlighting the dangers of repetitive stress injuries

When Pennsylvania workers think of workplace injuries that are eligible for compensation, they may think of dramatic and catastrophic injuries like electrocution, brain damage, fire damage, or more. However, some of the most common injuries are also the easiest to get and can be sustained by almost anyone in the working force. These are repetitive stress injuries.

FindLaw takes a look at what causes a repetitive stress injury (RSI) and how the trauma can impact a worker’s everyday life. These disorders are considered “chronic neuromusculoskeletal disorders”, meaning they can affect the nerves, muscles, and skeletal system of a sufferer. These injuries typically occur in the hands, arms, neck, and back.

The thing about repetitive stress injuries is that a worker doesn’t have to be doing something particularly dangerous or even taxing to get injured. The name says it all: repetitive stress injuries just involve motions that happen over and over. Healthline takes a look at some common actions that can cause RSIs, many of which are things most people do every day. They include:

  • Typing
  • Using a mouse
  • Swiping items like credit cards or items at a store
  • Assembly line work
  • Holding tools
  • Sports training

After doing the same action repeatedly over a long period of time, the body may begin to experience RSIs. This can come in the form of issues like bursitis, rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow, or carpal tunnel syndrome.

If left untreated, RSIs can cause permanent damage to the body and may leave the user with the inability to use the affected area as they would otherwise be able to. This is why seeking treatment and compensation can be so crucial.