Personal Injury
By Conal McGarrity
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Repetitive Strain Injuries- Have I suffered from this?

What is Repetitive Strain Injury?

A repetitive strain injury is a condition caused by a prolonged, ongoing, and progressive task or performance, usually associated with a job. This causes a pain or impairment of the function of the muscles and tendons. The areas most affected are the forearms and elbows, wrists and hands, and neck and shoulder region. It is a disorder caused by repetitive motions. These repetitive motions cause damage to tissues which is caused by these repeated physical actions. The tissues in these limbs, usually in the upper body, progressively become worn and damaged with overuse.

What Movements Cause Repetitive Strain Injury?

The injuries arise from work related tasks including performing manual labour and working in factories. Movements include:

  • Small, recurring movements

  • Forceful movements

  • Using a vibrating tool

  • Bending the neck

  • Holding tools with narrow handles e.g. a knife

  • Holding tools that are too large

  • Lifting heavy loads

  • Long periods of work without any breaks

Signs and Categories of Repetitive Strain Injuries

Signs that you are experience a repetitive strain injury include pain, aches, tenderness, throbbing, tingling, numbness, weakness, swelling, difficulty moving fingers or wrist, loss of sensation, and cramping. There are two types of repetitive strain injuries and can be categorized as Type 1 strain or Type 2 strain.

Type 1 strain is where the symptoms can be classified as a specific condition. Specific conditions resulting from RSI include carpel tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, tennis elbow, cubital tunnel syndrome. These disorders are recognised as musculoskeletal disorders.

Type 2 strain is when the symptoms are not easily classified as a specific condition. Symptoms can be very vague and may shift and not last long. When Type 2 strain occurs, there are usually no visual or measurable signs such as nerve damage.

Is it Difficult to Prove?

To diagnose a repetitive strain injury, the individual will need to consult with their Doctor who will often be able to diagnose any of the conditions listed above. If the symptoms indicate swollen and inflamed tissue it is likely there is an underlying condition. If the Doctor is unable to achieve this or if the symptoms are not immediately apparent, the individual will need to go for further testing. These further tests may include x ray or blood tests.

Once a client begins a repetitive strain injury claim, we will send our client to an expert orthopaedic surgeon who will then carry out a medical report. This report will explain the extent of the condition, and in most cases refer the client on to a further specialist in that area to get the best possible results for our client- physically and financially.

What can I claim for?

The compensation an individual is entitled to will vary from case to case depending on the extent and severity of the pain and the effect on quality of life. There is no set compensation fee for a repetitive strain injury. Our team of solicitors will provide the client with a better understanding upon receiving initial instructions. The individual can usually claim for the injury, time off work, loss of earnings, and potentially loss of future earnings.

General damages will be awarded for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity, and special damages will be awarded for extra financial losses or expenses because of the repetitive strain.

How Can We Help?

At PA. Duffy and Co, many accidents at work stem from repetitive strain injuries. If you feel a repetitive strain is ongoing and the symptoms described above are surfacing, keep a diary and timeline of your symptoms and important details.

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