What is RSI?
Repetitive Strain Injury, commonly known as RSI, is a condition which results in pain from repeatedly using the same muscle groups. It describes a wide range of conditions affecting the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues in the body. RSI is common in the workplace and is one of the most commonly reported accidents at work, particularly in the white-collar environment of the office, where employees are constantly straining their wrists to prepare documents. RSI is hard to diagnose as the symptoms may occur without inflammation of the affected areas.
What are the symptoms of RSI?
Sufferers of RSI display a wide range of symptoms including; pain, numbness, tightness, dull ache, or throbbing and tingling in the affected area. RSI is difficult to distinguish from other disorders such as general muscle inflammation and therefore it is often hard to obtain a diagnosis.
Is it possible to treat RSI with steroid injections?
A direct steroid injection into the wrist may be prescribed, but can be painful and ineffective. A steroid injection can cause the tendons to develop an almost “rubber-like” consistency, which can easily be damaged further through overstretching, if the individual continues to perform the same tasks that caused the original injury. It is far more commonplace to treat RSI with what is known as conservative therapy. Conservative therapies involved wrapping the affected area in a splint coupled with an adequate rest, or a proper stretch and exercise programme to reduce hypertonic tension in the muscles affected. Other therapies include the utilisation of ultrasounds and massages to help treat the affected area.
I have been diagnosed with RSI and I think my job may to be blame. Am I entitled to claim compensation?
RSI is becoming an increasingly more common work-related injury and poses a significant threat to health and safety in the workplace. Your employer should actively be taking steps in order to reduce the chances of suffering from RSI, including providing adequate breaks and providing ergonomic furniture to help with posture and ease stress on the muscles.
If, however, you’ve suffered RSI as a result of your occupation within the last 3 years and it wasn’t your fault, then yes, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Contact Accident Advice Helpline today for more information. Our lines are open 24/7 on 0800 689 0500 and a friendly, professional adviser is waiting to take your call.