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What is a repetitive strain injury?

As a worker, at least some of your tasks likely involve physical movement. Some may have more risky, physically-demanding jobs than others. But almost everyone has the chance of gaining a repetitive strain injury (RSI).

What exactly is an RSI? How do victims end up with them? How serious are they? And can an RSI affect your ability to work?

Causes of RSIs

Healthline takes a look at the damage repetitive strain can do. First, what are RSIs? They are injuries resulting from repetitive motion. In short, repeating the same motion every day can actually hurt you.

Unfortunately, most jobs involve some type of repetitive motion. For example, cashiers run items across the scanner all day. Receptionists type and use the telephone. Assembly line workers often crank the same bolts, sew the same patterns and press the same buttons. Workers who do detailed craftwork are also at risk for RSIs, especially in the fingers and wrists.

Speaking of, hands and wrists are the most common places to suffer an RSI. Elbows and shoulders may suffer, too. It is less common for victims to experience RSIs involving their legs, knees or feet unless they do a lot of bending and lifting.

Severity of RSIs

RSIs can vary in severity. Unfortunately, they get worse if left untreated. This means victims who refuse to rest will worsen their RSI. In some cases, RSIs worsen to the point that the victim needs surgery. You end up in a catch-22, where you need to take time off work to heal regardless of severity. This is why many people suffering from RSIs seek financial compensation, as it helps them fund their recovery and work break.

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