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How can working at a computer cause a shoulder injury?

Repetitive motion causes various kinds of injuries. In fact, an injury to one part of the body may result in an injury to another part.

You may have the kind of job that requires working on a computer all day. Furthermore, you might use the phone while you type. What is the connection between this kind of work and the pain in your shoulder?

Where RSI turns up

Repetitive strain injury, also known as repetitive stress injury, occurs most often in office work, manual labor and use of a variety of technological devices, such as a cellphone, tablet or PlayStation. A motion or activity that is repeated over and over may adversely affect fingers, wrists, elbows or shoulders and, if left untreated, can result in serious, prolonged injury. Poor posture at the computer, working in cold temperatures, constant use of vibrating equipment and carrying heavy loads are examples of the kinds of activities that require repetitive motion, which could lead to RSI.

Treatment options

You should report any injury you have to your employer within 30 days, and your employer will recommend a certified workers’ compensation doctor for you to see. Because there is a wide range of repetitive stress injuries, there are many kinds of treatment, from the use of anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen to surgery for the most severe cases. Your doctor might prescribe a splint, a steroid injection or physical therapy. If your injury prevents you from working for a time, he or she will verify that you have a temporary or permanent disability.

Taking the diagnosis seriously

There are two main types of RSI. You may either have a musculoskeletal disorder, which usually includes inflammation, or a type of RSI that often involves nerve damage. With respect to the pain in your shoulder, the doctor might diagnose rotator cuff syndrome, which affects the tendons holding the joint in place. The doctor can also provide a recommendation on preventing such an injury in the future. For example, it turns out that you hold the phone between your ear and your shoulder as you type on the keyboard. The fix is simple: You can avoid future discomfort by using a headset.

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Hall Ansley, P.C.
3275 E. Ridgeview Street
Springfield, MO 65804

Phone: 417-890-8700
Fax: 417-890-8855
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