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What Do You Need to Know About Repetitive Motion Injuries?

If your job requires you to repeat the same bodily motions day after day, you might be at risk for developing an injury. Repetitive motion injuries can become serious and are some of the most common types of workplace injuries in the United States.

As an employee in Iowa, what do you need to know about these types of injuries?

Common Repetitive Motion Injuries (RMIs)

The most common types of repetitive motion injuries are:

  • Tendinitis - involves the tendons that connect muscle to bone. These allow movement throughout the body and bear most of the weight in the body. Tendinitis is inflammation of these tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common examples of tendinitis.
  • Bursitis - involves the inflammation of the bursa which is a small pouch that cushions the area between tendons and bones. Bursitis occurs when these pouches get inflamed. It most commonly occurs in the elbow, knees and hips.

These types of injuries are caused by repetitive activities such as lifting boxes, or other consistent motions. Because of this, employees can suffer RMIs due to the nature of their job. RMIs can inflict workers of any industry, including construction, factory work and even office-type work.

Symptoms

Indications of these injuries can include:

  • Pain in the area
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Area is warm to the touch
  • "Crunchy" feeling in the joint

What Can You Do?

If these symptoms occur and/or grow so severe they are inhibiting your work or daily life, you should see a doctor. A medical professional can provide an official diagnosis and potentially offer treatment or home self-care.

There are certain preventative steps you can take to decrease your risk of RMIs or mitigate existing conditions. This includes warm-up and cool-down maneuvers like stretching. Range-of-motion exercises, splints and bands can also help decrease symptoms for these conditions.

However, if your condition is severe, you may be entitled to workers' compensation for your injuries.

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