Did you know repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are among the most common types of worker injuries?
RSIs are also known as musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs), cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs), soft-tissues injuries (STIs), overuse syndrome (OS) and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
Here at WorkSafeNB we prefer the term MSI because MSIs are not limited to injuries caused by repetitive movements. They are caused by a combination of primary risk factors, such as forceful exertion, awkward postures, static postures and repetitive movements.
An MSI is an injury or disorder of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels or related soft tissue. Symptoms begin with mild discomfort. At a later stage, however, pain may be present all the time and the MSI may not be completely reversible to reach full recovery.
So what can we do to prevent MSIs?
Ergonomically correct workstations and tools benefit all workers, but there is something simpler, and cheaper, that workers can do to prevent repetitive strain injuries at work and at home:
MOVE AND MOVE OFTEN.
Moving and changing positions is the best way to avoid injuries related to repetitive strain. By changing positions regularly, you increase blood flow and prevent stiffness and, in turn, reduce your risk of suffering from a RSI. This can be balanced with stretches, warm-up exercises and regular checks for body discomfort.
If you work at a desk, there are applications that can help remind you to move, as well as stretches like RSIGuard or WorkWave. You can also adjust your mouse settings and make more use of keyboard shortcuts.
Other things you can do to prevent MSIs and RSIs:
RSI Awareness Day is an ideal time to present a safety talk in your workplace. WorkSafeNB can help with videos, posters and more. Follow the links or request items by sending us an email.