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Repetitive stress injuries are not as insignificant as they sound

Repetitive stress injuries are not as insignificant as they sound

Repetitive stress injuries are not as insignificant as they sound

When thinking of long-term harm caused by work-related injuries, most people might picture construction or industrial workers. However, repetitive stress injuries are progressive and often only diagnosed when damage is already irreversible. This painful condition can affect workers in many work environments, from office workers to poultry processing line workers.

Repetitive stress injuries are not one-time injuries. Instead, they result from repetitive, often minor, motions performed hundreds of times per day, for weeks, months and even years.

How do RSIs occur

There is no physical challenge or harm in the motion itself, yet the repetitive motion can cause injury to the wrists, hands or other body parts of those performing it. RSIs occur when tendons, muscles, ligaments and nerves receive repeated injuries from making the same motion for a prolonged period.

Repetitive stress injury symptoms

In their earliest stages, these injuries may not be easy to detect since people do not often experience pain or discomfort at that point. It is easier for them to write off discomfort or pain as part of their job or aging process. One tends to seek treatment later when an injury has progressed to a more severe state.

The following symptoms most commonly link to repetitive stress injuries:

  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or fingers
  • Pain in the fingers, arms or legs that feels aching or dull
  • Coordinating difficulties
  • Limb weakness
  • Impaired motion
  • Joint stiffness
  • Clicking or popping sensation
  • Swelling around the affected area
  • Fatigue


Workers in occupations that involve repetitive motions would likely find comfort in knowing that the California workers’ compensation system covers repetitive stress injuries. However, it is crucial to look out for RSI symptoms and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Delaying it could jeopardize recovery. Although there is no single injury date, properly documented claims might meet approval for workers’ compensation benefits.

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