It’s no secret that desk jobs and occupations requiring repetitive tasks are leading to strain and pain. In fact, recent statistics place repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) as one of the most common and growing occupational-related injuries with one-third of all work absence cases involving a musculoskeletal injury, a classification that includes RSIs, according to reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Increased responsibilities as a result of technological efficiencies, quicker paces, tighter deadlines, and more are all bound to increase that rate if we don’t change the ways in which we approach our work.
Because an RSI develops gradually over time, the symptoms often go unnoticed until it’s too late to avoid the injury altogether. If they are left untreated, RSIs can have a significant impact on one’s standard of life, particularly as a result of extreme and debilitating pain and reduced range of motion that can significantly affect day-to-day tasks and render the employee unable to complete their responsibilities while on the job. What measures can be taken to avoid a repetitive stress injury at work?
Anyone whose occupation requires them to remain seated or standing in the same or similar position for extended periods or perform the same task with limited motion is at a higher risk of developing an RSI. The best course for injury prevention in many cases is designing an ergonomic workstation that prioritizes proper posture. Ideally, a workstation should be designed to adapt to standing or sitting to allow you to mix it up and keep your body limber and pain-free.
For those who work at a desk for most of the day, consider the following notes to improve posture:
As for occupations that require a lot of standing, posture is still a priority. As much as possible, keep your head, shoulders, hips, and feet aligned. Use an anti-fatigue mat to reduce strain on the feet, knees, and back and take regular breaks to move and stretch. If using cleaning tools, opt for extension poles or handles that are long enough to prevent excessive hunching or bending over.
A simple stretch each hour or so while you’re working or performing repetitive tasks can go a long way in preventing RSIs, while fitting in a yoga class between shifts can benefit both muscle strengthening and weight loss. Easily fit these stretches into mini-breaks during work or use them as a tool to relieve tension outside of work hours.
Tips for preventing RSIs at work will understandably vary by occupation. The following is a sample of what you might be able to adapt, depending on what repetitive movements you may perform at work, to prevent an injury. Start by incorporating any tips you feel may relieve some strain and pain for you, based on the demands of your job.
If your company has a Human Resources (HR) Manager or designated health and safety representative, tap into their expertise on this topic for customized tips. Your HR manager will also be able to offer details on what additional treatments may be covered under your company’s health benefits plan for treating or preventing RSIs.
While ergonomic workstations, stretching, regular breaks, and changes in tasks can certainly help to prevent RSIs, everybody is different. What works for one may not work for you. If an RSI does set in, be sure to take appropriate measures to properly treat and heal your injury. There are many types of healing technologies for soft tissue injuries, some of which include splinting or compression bands, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and radio frequency-based soft tissue injury treatments that help to accelerate healing and improve range of motion as compared to physiotherapy alone. One of the most reliable radio frequency-based treatments is Venus Heal™.
With the Venus Heal™ device, three therapeutic modes of action—each proven in their own right to effectively target soft tissue injuries like RSIs—are combined into one powerful treatment. Whether used alone or as part of a holistic treatment plan, quick and comfortable Venus Heal™ treatments can help you return to the job faster without risking further soft tissue damage. To get all the details or to see if this treatment will work for you, simply use the search field below to locate a provider in your area.