Especially if you’re one of many people in Illinois who work in a restaurant, an assembly line or behind the desk in an office, you might have many days when you return home from work feeling sore and tired. Sitting and typing all day or performing the same tasks or motions over and over again can take a toll on a person’s body. In fact, it can lead to a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
RSI is a term that refers to a broad range of injuries, which you might develop over time in the workplace. You’re at greater risk for such injuries if you often have to maintain the same posture or perform repeated tasks using similar motions for hours on end during the normal course of duty in your workplace. RSI is a condition that one can list in a workers’ compensation claim.
Which body parts do an RSI most commonly affect?
If you’re a typist, you’re at great risk for RSI, with symptoms likely arising in your wrists, thumbs, hands or forearms. Taking breaks throughout the day and doing wrist and hand exercises before, during and after work may help prevent RSI when your duties include typing on a daily basis. The following list shows other parts of the body often affected by RSI:
If you work in a restaurant as a server and have to carry trays to and from the tables, you might develop RSI in your shoulders or back. If your job requires you to bend and lift heavy items on a regular basis, the risk for RSI is high. If symptoms arise, it is important to seek medical attention and to report your condition to your employer.
What are the symptoms of RSI?
Any number of symptoms may occur in connection with an RSI condition, including but not limited to those listed here:
- Numbness or tingling
- Throbbing pains
- Pinching or jabbing sensation
- Specific area red and warm to the touch
It’s not uncommon to experience more than one symptom at a time if you have suffered a repetitive strain injury in the workplace. If your condition worsens, you might wind up having to take time off work to recover. In fact, some people become unable to work at all if their injuries do not heal.
Navigating the workers’ compensation system regarding RSI
When you file a workers’ compensation claim through your Illinois employer, it’s imperative to make your report as detailed as possible with regard to your injuries. As opposed to an acute condition that has resulted from a sudden accident, RSI typically develops over time. Noting issues, such as when you first began to feel pain or discomfort, as well as how your condition has worsened, will help you get the care and benefits you need.
If your initial claim receives a denial by your employer or an insurance agency, try not to fret, as this is not uncommon. Many workers are able to collect benefits in spite of an initial denial by taking the proper steps to file an appeal.