If your job involves performing tasks, like typing or lifting items, you may be susceptible to repetitive stress injuries. These injuries tend to develop gradually and result in pain, numbness and limited motion. Common repetitive stress injuries include knee injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and back pain. In severe cases, these injuries can prevent you from performing certain functions ever again.
Here are a few ways you can minimize your risk of developing repetitive stress injuries.
Practice Proper Posture
If you’re one of the many people who sits at a desk for multiple hours at work each day, you may find it difficult to maintain proper posture all the time. When you’ve been sitting down for a while, you might be tempted to slouch in your chair. Unfortunately, improper posture can take its toll on your body after a while. You may start to experience lower back pain.
Paying attention to your posture throughout the day can go a long way in preventing repetitive stress injuries. Remember to always sit up straight with your shoulders pulled back. If necessary, adjust your chair so that your upper arm is vertical and your forearms are horizontal.
Position Your Mouse Near Your Keyboard
If you type on a computer all day, it’s important for your mouse to be in close perimeters to your keyboard. If you have to stretch your arm too far to reach the mouse, it can lead to strain in your arm or cause your shoulder to twist.
Keep Your Wrists Straight
When you type all day, it’s common to bend your wrists. Unfortunately, this can lead to repetitive stress injuries over time. Always make sure that your wrists are straight. If you have trouble with this, consider getting a wrist rest.
Take More Frequent Breaks
If you have to perform repetitive tasks at your job, it’s critical to take frequent short breaks. Try to get up about every hour to move around and stretch.
What to Do If You Suspect a Repetitive Stress Injury
Common symptoms of repetitive stress injuries include cramps, burning sensation, pain, stiffness, weakness, numbness and throbbing sensations. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may have a repetitive stress injury and should seek medical attention immediately. A doctor will evaluate your injury and recommend the proper treatment. The sooner you get the condition checked out, the easier it is to treat.