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The prevention of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI's) is critical to reducing overall costs to taxpayers, private businesses, insurance companies and consumers, and can be achieved in a variety of ways, including but not limited to the implementation of ergonomic programs, ergonomic devices, stretch and exercise programs, rehabilitation products and more.

Prevention Programs Utilizing Stretches & Exercises Eliminate Upper Extremity RSI's.

"According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly two-thirds of all occupational illnesses reported, were caused by exposure to repeated trauma to workers upper body ( the wrist, elbow or shoulder ). One common example of such an injury is carpal tunnel syndrome."

The solution to this increasing problem is the implementation of repetitive strain injury "prevention protocols" to eliminate repetitive strain injuries before they arise! Here are a few ways to do just that, with minimal financial costs to businesses, tremendous increases in productivity and overall long-term savings for everyone!

Job/Task Rotation
Implementing "Job Rotation" helps to eliminate repetitive strain injuries in the workplace. When implementing job rotation, the tasks must involve different muscle groups in order to prevent muscle groups from being "overused". Be sure that each task last no longer than 1-hour before moving to another task.

Workstation Design
In this category, the key is to fit the workplace to the worker, not the worker to the workplace. Having a properly designed workstation decreases the effort required in order to maintain a proper working position. The workstation, which includes the chair, desk, keyboard, mouse, computer monitor and other office equipment must be within arms reach and must be adjustable to fit the workers body type and build. Having a good workstation can reduce excess stress and strain to the upper body.

Ergonomic Tools Can Help Reduce Onset of RSI

Tools / Devices
Using appropriate ergonomic tools and equipment can significantly decreases the amount of force necessary to complete a given task, thereby reducing the chance of becoming afflicted with a repetitive strain injury. Ergonomic tools cannot actually prevent the onset of a repetitive strain injury completely, but may increase the time in which it takes to get the injury. ( i.e. The injury occurs in 10- years instead of 2-years)

Work Habits
Taking necessary breaks and performing stretches and exercises to keep the over and underused muscles of the upper extremity balanced are the most significant elements in preventing repetitive strain injuries from arising.

Well-balanced muscles eliminate nerve impingement syndromes like carpal tunnel syndrome, guyon's syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome and encourage increased circulation, providing oxygenated blood to surrounding muscles and nerves. Performing a good stretch and exercise program allows the muscles and nerves to stay healthy, which is of the utmost importance in preventing repetitive strain injuries.
"According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive strain injuries are the nation's most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation. "
Treatments consist of both invasive and conservative therapy.

Invasive treatments include cortisone injections and surgical procedures while conservative treatments include massage therapy, stretching, exercising, ultrasound, sine wave, cold laser, physical therapy, chiropractic, hot/cold therapy and more.

Articles focusing on repetitive strain injuries of the upper extremity .

Repetitive strain injuries affect millions of individuals each year. Here you can find information and resources regarding treatment options, injury symptoms, testing procedures, injury prevention techniques and more!

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