If there are mornings when you have trouble moving because your back hurts or your joints are stiff, you're definitely not alone in your struggle. Any number of issues might be an underlying cause of your discomfort. If you're over age 50, it's not uncommon to experience stiffness or a certain amount of bodily discomfort as you age. However, if your Kansas job requires you to maintain an awkward posture or to repeat a motion over and over again, you might have a repetitive strain injury (RSI).
RSI can impair function in your muscles, tendons or nerves. It typically develops over time, which means symptoms are not always immediately apparent. If you are experiencing discomfort, swelling or inflammation, it's important, not only to seek medical examination but also to determine if your symptoms are associated with a workplace injury.
Issues that can make RSI worse
Do you drink beverages containing caffeine to help boost your energy? Because caffeine can cause your muscles to dehydrate, it may exacerbate discomfort if you have an RSI. Not drinking enough water also causes dehydration. Especially, if your job requires to sit for long periods of time, dehydration can have a negative effect.
Over-exercise can also increase the adverse effects of an RSI. Diet, as well, is a key factor, not only to overall health but also in direct relation to a repetitive strain injury. Your muscles need nutrients in minerals that whole foods provide. If you eat a lot of junk food and not a lot of nutrient dense food, it can create health problems, particularly if your muscles are already strained.
Improve your health and recognize symptoms of RSI
Are you getting adequate sleep at night? Do you have symptoms that cause you to lie awake or even have to get out of bed to stand upright? Getting enough sleep is critical to good health. It is also important to breathe properly, which many people don't do. Whether you are in a seated position, standing, running or lying prostrate, if you do not know how to maximize breathing efficacy, you might compromise your health.
Overall body awareness can help you recognize signs of an RSI. If you have pain, redness, numbness, swelling or tingling sensations in your wrist, forearm, back or anywhere on your body, you might have an underlying injury that occurred in the workplace.
What to do if you have a workplace injury
You might want to shrug off the pain or take an over-the-counter medication to help alleviate discomfort rather than scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician or going to an urgent care center.
However, if it's possible that an on-the-job RSI caused your symptoms, you'll want to report your symptoms to your employer and seek medical examination. Doing so immediately creates written documentation that may come in handy down the line if you file a workers' compensation claim to collect benefits.