Repetitive strain injuries, or RSI’s, are common in many workplaces. More often than not, these workplaces require employees to lift heavy items. Or, they require you to sit at a computer and work or type for a significant portion of the day. Here’s what you need to know about protecting yourself against repetitive strain injuries and what to do if you experience RSI symptoms.
Use Proper Lifting Techniques
Lifting improperly can easily injure the back. If it doesn’t result in an acute back injury right away, lifting the wrong way with the wrong techniques over time can cause strain to the muscles, tendons, and vertebrae in the back. Proper lifting techniques include always squatting to lift and pick up the heavy object with your back straight, versus bending over to pick something up and using your back muscles to bear the burden of the weight.
Maintain Good Posture
It’s easy to slouch at your desk during a long work day, but doing so can strain to your upper back, shoulders, and neck. Maintain good posture by keeping your spine straight and your chin parallel to the floor. Ask your workplace for an ergonomic chair, which helps encourage good posture.
Stretch Wrists and Fingers Frequently
If typing is a large portion of your job, carpal tunnel syndrome can be a real threat. Take frequent breaks to stretch your wrists and fingers. Also, explore the possibility of using speech-to-text software or other applications. These applications help you continue to work while taking a break from typing. Ask your employer for an ergonomic keyboard and mouse designed to support the wrists for extended periods of computer use.
Are You Noticing Signs of an RSI?
Symptoms of a repetitive strain injury can be subtle and progress over time. Therefore, it may be difficult to pinpoint the cause. If you experience pain, stiffness, or immobility in your hands, wrists, or upper or lower back, it may be related to your job.
Consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Louisiana can help you determine if your injuries may be caused by the type of work you do. A consultation may tell you if you are eligible to bring forward a workers’ compensation claim to get the medical treatment and other benefits you need. Call us today for a consultation at (985) 893-6530.