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Claiming Compensation For Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

Jun 1, 2008
Repetitive strain injury or RSI is a condition resulting from overuse of a tool like a computer, guitar or anything that require repeated movements. The condition affects the muscles tendons and nerves of the hands, arms and upper back due to these being tense for long periods of time. RSI is not a recognised medical condition, but a term used to describe the range of injuries caused by repetitive movements or overuse.

People who work on computers for long hours each day are most likely to suffer from this syndrome at some point in their working lives as are people working on assembly lines. Computer operators need to ensure their posture is correct and that the desk they are working at is the right height. There are health and safety guidelines regarding the correct posture and these should be adhered to at all times.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a well known repetitive strain injury, which is common amongst guitarists and assembly workers. Computer users arm pain is caused by another specific condition called cumulative trauma disorder.

The symptoms for RSI vary but the following certainly indicate the start of RSI:

* Recurring pain in the neck, shoulders, upper back, hands or wrists.
* Tingling, numbness, coldness
* Loss of sensation.
* Loss of grip strength, lack of endurance, weakness.
* Muscles in the arms and shoulders feel hard and wiry when palpated.
* Pain or numbness while lying in bed. Often early stage RSI sufferers mistakenly think they are lying on their arms in an awkward position cutting off circulation.

To recover from RSI requires active participation by the patient over a period of several months. The best treatment is to understand exactly what is causing the pain and to correct it. If for instance it is due to bad posture then you need to ensure your desk and computers are at the right height. Simple stretches and back strengthen stretches will help but only on a long term plan as will self massage. Your doctor might recommend seeing a phyisical therapist or alternative medicine.

If you're RSI symptoms is a result of negligence of your employer, you maybe entitled to make a claim for compensation. Even though RSI is not caused by an actually accident but by repetitive movements over a period of time, this still can be claimed against. They are claimed for in the same way and accident can be claimed for. You just need to find a good accident claim solicitor to take the case on for you. Luckily these days there is the 'no win no fee' agreement which when signed means your solicitor is actively working for nothing until the case is won, they recover all their costs. The good thing about this is that for one you don't have to pay anything to get the compensation claim going, and for two the solicitor will only take the case on if they are 90% sure they will win.

Many people don't claim because they think it will effect their position at work, but this is not true, employers have insurance to cover personal injury claims. If your employer cares that little of your health then maybe you should consider whether you want to carry on working for someone like that. Any compensation you win will cover for any loss hours and if you chose to leave your job you will be compensated for this upheaval. Claiming compensation is your legal and civil right. Why should you suffer for nothing?
About the Author
Carolyn is the webmaster for Accident Consult experts in Repetitive Strain Injury Claims as well as any other work accident. Contact them today for a friendly chat and to see if you could claim compensation.
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