Medical professionals use the term repetitive motion injury to refer to different types of injuries caused by prolonged and repetitive movements that cause damage to tendons, muscles, and nerves in the neck, shoulders, forearms, and hands. These movements are typically awkward, unnatural, and forceful. Repetitive motion injuries start with numbness and weakness, but the sensation will soon intensify into severe and debilitating pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common repetitive motion injury caused by a pinch nerve in the hand.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OHSA), repetitive motion injuries are one of the fastest growing workplace injuries in America. Workers expected to repetitively carry heavy loads or operate machinery are at risk, as well as employees who spend an inordinate amount of time using a computer. Other risk factors include poor posture and the use of improper techniques when taking on physically taxing jobs.
Preventing repetitive motion injuries does not take much effort. One crucial tip is making sure that proper posture is observed, especially for employees that spend a lot of time sitting down. Stretching is another important practice in preventing repetitive motion injuries. Workers who take the extra time to stretch and strengthen their muscles before carrying heavy objects can ensure that their bodies will be properly prepared for the physical stress it entails.
It’s also crucial that workers are allowed to take breaks from their repetitive tasks and be allowed to rest from their taxing activities. This is especially crucial for settings like construction sites and manufacturing plants where workers typically take on more labor intensive tasks. In this regard, employers have the responsibility to make sure that the risk repetitive motion injuries are properly mitigated in their workplaces. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, it is also expected that employers provide proper workers’ compensation for those who do get injured due to the nature of their tasks. According to data from the OHSA archives, an estimated 2.73 million workers’ compensation claims have been awarded to repetitive motion injury patients in the year 1993.