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Your aches and pains may not be age-related

If your job involves actions that you have to do repetitively, the pain in your arms or hands may not be -- as you suspected -- a symptom of getting old, but rather a work-related injury. It could be a condition called repetitive strain injury (RSI) that develops from excessive use of specific parts of the body. The level of pain it causes may build up slowly, and the fact that painkillers provide relief should not stop you from consulting with a doctor.

Understanding what RSI is, and the symptoms for which to look out may help you decide what to do about it.

Repetitive strain injuries cover a range of conditions that cause different levels of pain in soft tissues, tendons and muscles. In the workplace, it can result from repetitive actions using a particular body part or working with your body in an awkward position for long periods. Furthermore, emotional stress at work can cause tightened muscles that are more vulnerable to injuries. Regular breaks may help to prevent RSI or provide relief for already existing symptoms.

With its gradual development, you may experience discomfort only when you do the repetitive motions and not during rest periods. As the unfortunate condition develops over time, you might experience constant pain -- even when you rest -- and exacerbated pain when you do the tasks that caused it.

Symptoms: (Most affected areas include arms, wrists and hands)

  • Pain -- From dull aching to intense pain
  • Throbbing
  • Tightness
  • Tingling
  • Numbness

In which occupations is RSI most likely to occur?

  • Workers in factories who do repetitive tasks on the production line
  • Office workers such as typists
  • Computer operators - typically involves wrist and hand injuries due to manipulating a computer mouse for hours on end
  • Musicians who spend hours playing their instruments in rehearsals and performances

For reasons not yet determined, RSI often develops without any inflammation or swelling. Another unexplained matter is the fact that two workers can do the same repetitive motion next to each other with only one of them developing RSI.

This is a condition that is not easily diagnosed, and you might struggle to prove that your condition is work related when you file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. Fortunately, an experienced California workers' compensation attorney can recommend physicians who are skilled in identifying repetitive strain injuries, and a lawyer can navigate the workers' comp claim on your behalf.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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