What do office workers, warehouse workers, chefs, bank clerks and carpenters have in common? They are all categories of workers prone to suffer a repetitive strain injury.
Any job that requires you to repeat the same limited hand motions over and over again can lead to too much stress on your hands, wrists or forearms.
What are the warning signs of a repetitive strain injury?
Many workers make their injuries worse by ignoring them. Here are some signs that continuing to work as you are may cause long term injury:
- A burning feeling in the forearm, wrist or hands: If you have ever lifted weights, you will know the burning sensation when your arms tire beyond measure. You should not be getting this feeling at work.
- Difficulty gripping things: If you have difficulty picking up the mug of coffee at rest break or holding a pen to write, you need to see a doctor.
- Swelling: Feel your forearms at the end of a day’s work. Most tasks require you to use one hand more than the other. For instance, using a computer requires you to type with both hands, but you only use one to maneuver the mouse. Chefs will chop with one hand. If one forearm feels different from the other, get it checked out.
- Sensitivity of the hand to the cold: The cold can increase pain and reduce mobility. If you look around you and no one but you is wearing woolen gloves to work, it may be a sign.
Workers’ compensation insurance can help you get paid while you take time off to recover from a repetitive strain injury. It can help you get medical treatment and retrain if necessary. You may, however, have to fight to get the full amount of compensation due. If your workers’ comp claim isn’t going well, it may be time to speak with an attorney.