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A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a term used to describe pain in muscles, tendons and nerves caused by overuse or prolonged periods of repetitive movement. It is sometimes called work-related upper limb disorder, or non-specific upper limb pain. It usually affects parts of the upper body such as:

  • Hands
  • Wrist
  • Forearm
  • Elbow
  • Shoulders
  • Neck

Symptoms include pain or tenderness, cramp, stiffness, and sometimes tingling and numbness. If you suffer from any of these symptoms and think it might be a result of your work, then you should speak to your employer or occupational health representative about it. They should be able to look into modifying either equipment or procedures to avoid any further suffering. You should also talk to your doctor about the symptoms to see if they can help reduce the discomfort.

Types of RSI

There are two types of repetitive strain injury. Type 1 is when a doctor can diagnose a recognised medical condition from you symptoms. Type 2 is when a doctor is unable to diagnose a recognisable medical condition – this is known as non-specific upper limb pain.

What causes RSI

It is often associated with doing a particular activity for a long period of time, or repeatedly moving in a regular manner. There are certain types of work that are thought to increase the risk of RSI. These are:

  • Poor posture or activities that require you to work in an awkward or uncomfortable position
  • Performing a high-intensity activity with out rest periods
  • Cold temperatures
  • Stress

How to prevent RSI

All employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This means not only putting in procedures and training so that people work in a safe manner to avoid accidents, but also to avoid long-term damage. Employers should carry out a risk assessment when you join a company to identify any issues which may cause you difficulty in the long term. They should also make sure that you have sufficient breaks, and can work in as comfortable a position as possible.

Claiming Compensation for RSI

If you have suffered from a repetitive strain injury and you can prove that it was not your fault, then you could be eligible to claim for compensation. If you have informed your employer of an issue, and they have failed to respond in an appropriate manner then you could make a personal injury claim. Contact one of our highly experienced solicitors today and they can guide you through the process and see how much you could be able to claim.