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Preventing computer-related repetitive strain injuries

When you stop and think about the world’s most dangerous jobs, chances are, you envision that of a logger, law enforcement official, construction worker or what have you. While these jobs are undeniably dangerous, employees who spend long days working on computers also face certain job-related risks, with one of the more common hazards facing office workers being repetitive strain injuries.

As the name implies, repetitive strain injuries are neuromuscular conditions that can affect virtually any part of your upper body, from your neck, back and shoulders to your wrists, forearms and hands.

Common repetitive strain injuries

Some repetitive strain injuries are common enough to have their own terminology. Tennis elbow, for example, is one such injury that can occur when you overwork or overuse the tendons in your arm. While it can develop when you play tennis, it can also do so when you spend long periods of time working behind a computer. Carpal tunnel syndrome is another common repetitive strain injury, and it is common among office workers who spend long days typing or otherwise working at a computer.

Symptoms associated with repetitive strain injuries

While the symptoms you may experience when you develop a repetitive strain injury will vary to some degree based on the exact type of injury you suffer from, many people who have them report feeling numbness or tingling within their fingers, hands or other parts of their upper bodies. Others dealing with repetitive strain injuries report feeling sore, achy or fatigued, while others yet find that they lose coordination within their fingers or hands as a result of their injuries. Additionally, some people with such injuries report that their symptoms are more noticeable at night or immediately after they wake up.

You can minimize your risk of developing repetitive strain injuries to some extent by maintaining proper posture and adapting your workstation to fit your needs. Without treatment, some repetitive strain injuries become serious enough to cause permanent disability.

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