Repetitive strain injuries are related to overuse of tendons and muscles within the upper body, in particular the neck, back and shoulders; elbows, forearms and wrists, as well as the hands.
Common repetitive strain injury causes
Typical causes of repetitive strain injuries include:
- Repetitive movements or activities
- High intensity activities without rest for long periods
- Poor posture
- Awkward working positions
- Cold environments
- Vibrating equipment, especially if exposure is prolonged
In some cases, repetitive stress injury is caused by accidents at work. Stress at work is also considered to be a possible contributory factor.
Stress and repetitive strain injuries
It has been suggested by research that work related stress and other psychosocial workplace factors could contribute to, if not actually cause, repetitive strain injury. This suggestion is based on the fact that stress can increase muscle tension and may also affect how pain is felt in general by the body.
There are few people who have never felt the tightening of muscles in the neck, shoulders and/or upper back during periods of intense work induced stress. This tightening has the potential to inflict the kind of muscle and tendon injury associated with upper limb disorders.
Trying to minimise the discomfort and possibly even pain caused by the tightened muscles could also lead to affected workers adopting the kind of poor postures likely to cause repetitive strain conditions.
Other symptoms of stress
In addition to muscle tension, excessive workplace stress can also cause a variety of other problems, including:
- Apathy, the term for losing interest in work and other activities
- Diminished sex drive
- Disturbed sleeping patterns
- Lack of concentration
- Social withdrawal
- Stomach problems
Many employees suffering from occupational stress also turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope. This, as well as other stress-related problems, in particular lack of concentration or sleep, fatigue and headaches, could in turn result in people making mistakes likely to cause work accidents.
Stress, illness and injuries
Situations and circumstances may vary, but if you have developed a stress-related illness, sustained a work injury or have any other occupational illness, chances are that you may qualify for industrial injury compensation.
Find out if and how you can claim for compensation by getting advice from an Accident Advice Helpline adviser. Our helpline is free, confidential and manned by friendly, knowledgeable staff members, who can also refer you through to our legal team, who boast over 15 years’ experience of dealing with cases just like yours.
Give us a call today on 0800 689 0500 to speak to one of our advisers.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice