RSI can affect anyone from Phil Collins to beauticians
In the past, Repetitive Strain Injury was considered an illness limited to the factory workers repeating the same action all day. With the advent of new technology, RSI has become more widespread and is known to affect a wide range of occupations.
According to recent news reports, even rock stars can fall victim to debilitating RSI pain. Apparently Phil Collins has resorted to electric shock therapy in order to relieve him of painful RSI symptoms he has suffered for years, caused mainly it is believed by the physical toll of playing the drums.
Unfortunately for Mr Collins, unlike other workers who can pinpoint their working environment as the place that they sustained such an injury, he would have limited chance of success in bringing a case due to him being self employed. However, members of the public might be surprised at the diversity of jobs done by injured people who have successfully won RSI claims. Roberts Jackson recently acted for a pizza delivery driver who rode a moped and developed carpal tunnel syndrome and a kennel assistant who was injured after repetitive scrubbing and manual handling.
With a growing recognition of RSI, and the increase in desk-based jobs, the past 30 years has seen a rise in the number of office worker RSI claims. It’s still more commonly seen amongst machinery operators, though.
Anyone who repeatedly uses the same actions can be at risk of RSI. Overuse of the muscles over time causes swelling and inflammation, and if the muscles are not sufficiently rested, what starts as discomfort can turn into a long-term painful condition.
Prevention is better than cure
Whilst those with the means can search out lesser-known therapies such as Collins’ choice of shock treatment, the best way to deal with RSI is to avoid getting it in the first place.
Employers have a legal duty to protect employees from work-related RSI, including ensuring that existing conditions don’t get any worse. Workers who repeat actions or remain in one position for long periods of time should take regular breaks. Pain or tightness should be reported and employers should provide advice on the working environment, especially regarding posture.
If you think you are suffering from RSI-related conditions, you should see your GP.