Repetitive motion disorders (RMDs) or repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are muscular conditions that result from repeating a motion over and over in the course of working or daily life. These injuries often affect those whose jobs require them to repeat the same motion throughout the day - those who work on assembly lines, sew, play musical instruments or use computers are at high risk for RMDs. RMDs are among the most common occupational injuries and may occur in the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, back, hips, knees, feet, legs and ankles. 
Signs of repetitive motion disorder in the affected body part:
•    Pain
•    Tingling
•    Numbness
•    Swelling
•    Stiffness
•    Difficulty moving
Repetitive motion disorders include:

•    Carpal tunnel syndrome
•    Bursitis
•    Tendonitis
•    Epicondylitis
•    Ganglion cyst
•    Tenosynovitis
•    Trigger finger
Causes of RMDS:
•    Repetitive motion: Repeating a task causes strain and fatigue in muscles, joints and tendons.
•    Forceful exertion:  Performing a task that places a higher load or stress on muscles, tendons and joints.
•    Poor posture/awkward position: Poor posture puts strain on joints and muscles.
•    Duration: Using the same muscles for long periods of time can cause fatigue in those muscles and make them more susceptible to injury.

•    Compression: pressing body parts on hard or sharp surfaces decreases blood flow to the muscles, tendons and nerves in that area. This can cause tingling, numbness and change in sensation.  It may lead to tissue damage in that area.
•    Vibration: Vibration can put stress on individual parts of the body or on the whole body.

•    Health problems: Some conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Raynaud's syndrome, arthritis, smoking, alcoholism, gout, hypertension, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, stress and job dissatisfaction increase the chance of developing an RMD.
RMDs are usually treatable.  The injured employee must either reduce or stop the motions that caused the injury.  He may need to take frequent breaks or take time off to allow the injury to heal.  He may need physical therapy in order to relieve pain and to stretch and relax the affected muscles.  He may need medication such as pain relievers, cortisone and anti-inflammatory drugs.  The injured employee may wear a splint to relieve the pressure on the affected nerves.  In some cases, surgery is necessary. If untreated, RMDs may lead to permanent disability and loss of function in the affected area.
   Future RMDs may be prevented with ergonomic adjustments to the employees work area.
Repetitive motion injuries are very common on-the-job injuries.  If you have an RMD, you should seek medical care to avoid future damage and you should follow your doctor’s treatment plan.  Most employees with RMDs have the right to receive worker’s compensation while recovering from their injury and the right to return to work once the injury has healed.

Have You Been Injured On The Job?

If you've been hurt at work on the job in Kansas City you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.