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What is an RSI?

While many accidents that happen in the workplace yield injuries immediately, there are also some workplace injuries that occur gradually and are the result of consistent strain on one's nerves, muscles and tendons. Repetitive stress injuries are one such instance, caused by a gradual buildup of damage from performing repetitive movements. Maintaining the same posture over time, stressing the same muscle, lifting heavy objects or being in poor physical health can increase one's risk of developing an RSI.

RSis can be caused by many different types of activities, such as typing, using a mouse, grasping tools, working on an assembly line or swiping items at a checkout. Though Illinois residents may think that only those who are working desk jobs are at risk of developing a repetitive injury, this is not the case. Cleaners, cooks, bus drivers and construction workers also perform jobs with repetitive movements.

A repetitive strain injury can occur in arms, hands, neck, shoulders or elsewhere. Symptoms include tenderness, swelling, stiffness, tingling or numbness, pain and sensitivity to cold and heat. While symptoms may start off gradual, they eventually become more intense over time. Symptoms may inhibit one's ability to perform usual activities, even with initial treatment.

If the injury is caused by a work-related incident, it might be possible to be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages through one's workers' compensation system. However, individuals might find it difficult proving their injury was related to their work, which is why consulting an experienced attorney can be helpful.

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