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What are repetitive stress injuries?

If you feel constant pain in your hands, fingers or other body parts, you may have a repetitive stress injury. Repetitive stress injuries affect tendons, muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues. These injuries are common and painful.

Repetitive stress injuries may not seem severe, but they can lead to carpal tunnel, tendinitis, trigger finger, bursitis or other injuries. These injuries commonly occur in jobs that require repetitive tasks.

People who work in these types of jobs may be prone to injury:

  • Meatpacking
  • Sewing
  • Computer work
  • Manufacturing
  • Cleaning services

People working in these job industries should speak with a doctor if they feel pain, tingling, numbness, throbbing or swelling in their joints, muscles or ligaments.

What causes this type of injury?

Some job duties require repetitive motion on a daily basis. People who constantly perform duties that strain their muscles or tendons are more likely to develop a repetitive stress injury.

Repetitive stress injuries can also be caused by:

  • Overuse of soft tissue
  • Poor posture
  • Remaining in the same position for long periods
  • Repetitive pressure to one area
  • Overexertion

When job duties do not allow for an employee to rest their muscles, the body may get overworked and often injured.

How can you prevent repetitive stress injuries?

It may be difficult to prevent further injury if you have already developed a repetitive stress injury. It is better to catch a potential stress injury before it truly affects you.

Here are some preventative tips:

  • Take breaks
  • Stretch your muscles
  • Make sure your body is in good condition: eat healthy and exercise regularly

Repetitive stress injuries happen frequently. It may be important for you to take care of your body as best as you can. Utilize available resources if your job is causing pain and injury.

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