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Signs you might have a repetitive stress injury

Whether you work in a factory or an office, a medical care facility or in a sports arena, a grocery store or a courthouse, you are at risk for work-related injuries. In addition to slip and fall injuries, workers across the board are most broadly vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries. Unless your job is particularly dynamic and does not involve any lifting, typing or repetitive motions, you are at risk.

So how do you know if you are developing a repetitive stress injury or have already developed one? The signs are slightly different for various types of injuries. A back injury due to improper lifting technique will manifest differently than a wrist injury resulting from taking groceries out of hand baskets all day. However, the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a condition that plagues many office workers, can give you a glimpse at what the developing signs of any repetitive stress injury may look like.

According to the Mayo Clinic, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms often begin with a vague aching in the affected area. This ache can then radiate in multiple directions from the original site. Though in carpal tunnel the site of origin is usually the wrist and pain radiates to the hand or up the arm, other repetitive stress injuries may manifest from alternate sites of origin.

It can be somewhat difficult to diagnose and treat repetitive stress injuries on your own. As a result, it is best to consult a physician if your discomfort either begins to impair your normal activities, your range of motion or impairs your sleep. Once you obtain a repetitive stress injury diagnosis, you and your employer can work to ensure that the condition does not worsen over time.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome"

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