Repetitive Stress Injuries Are NOT a “White Collar” Problem

March 15, 2016

Repetitive stress injuries (or RSI’s) are a major workplace problem. The most common perception of RSI’s include white collar jobs, where men and women are hunched over keyboards in cramped cubicles lit by harsh fluorescent bulbs. However, real repetitive stress occurs most often in labor-intensive jobs.

The myth of white collar injuries

According to Duke University, “Despite a common perception, multiple clinical studies have yet to find a strong connection between heavy computer use and a person’s risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. People who used a computer for up to seven hours a day have been found to have no increased risk.”

The real risk comes with repetitive and non-natural force injuries. Manufacturing and finishing work are among the top jobs that lead to RSI’s. The real problem is the force involved. While typing all day, every day, is certainly repetitive, the actual resistance force on the wrists and fingers is fairly low. Comparatively, construction and manufacturing jobs involve high-impact activities. These activities involve tools like:

  • Hammers
  • Screw guns and drills
  • Jackhammers
  • Hammer drills and impact drivers
  • Impact air tools

With tools like hammer drills and jackhammers, the constant hard vibration can lead to micro fractures and small muscle tears. When the body attempts to repair this damage, fluid can build up in the affect joints, resulting in nerve compression. Years of repetitive damage can result in tendon inflammation and thickening, contributing to the problem.

Your pain is real, and you shouldn’t have to suffer

If you experience pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your extremities, you may have begun to experience the effects of an RSI. Seek medical treatment immediately, as early treatment can solve the problem and prevent recurrence. If your injuries occurred on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In extreme cases, you may be entitled to disability benefits.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim for long-term injuries can be complicated and difficult. There is no substitute for experienced legal counsel when your health and livelihood are on the line. The experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates can be your advocates. Contact us today for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.