INTERNATIONAL REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY AWARENESS DAY
Every year on the last day in February, International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day seeks to educate the public about repetitive strain injuries. This is also a day when health care professionals help their patients learn how to prevent this serious type of injury.
Repetitive strain injuries are exactly what they sound like. This type of injury occurs when a certain part of the body is damaged due to repetitive movements or overuse. One example of a repetitive strain injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. People who do a lot of typing or using a mouse at the computer are prone to this type of injury.
Common Stress Injuries
Other common repetitive stress injuries include:
- Tennis elbow
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Herniated disc
- Focal hand dystonia
- Neuropathic pain
Symptoms associated with repetitive strain injuries include pain, stiffness, throbbing, tingling, weakness, and cramping. People who work in jobs where they repeat the same motions several times throughout the day are likely to get a repetitive strain injury. In the United States alone, repetitive strain injuries affect close to 2 million workers a year. People with these types of injuries may have to take time off from work and receive proper treatment.
In many cases, repetitive strain injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation. All of this costs money. In the U.S., the cost associated with repetitive strain injuries is up to $20 billion a year. In some instances, repetitive strain injuries in the workplace are caused by poor ergonomics. Workers who do not take recommended breaks also put themselves at risk of a repetitive strain injury.
Those who have symptoms of a repetitive stress injury should never try to work through the pain or ignore it altogether. Doing these things will only make the injury worse. Workers and others with this kind of injury must get it properly diagnosed and treated right away.
HOW TO OBSERVE #RepetitiveStrainInjuryAwarenessDay
On this day, employers, health professionals, and occupational health and safety organizations hold informational workshops, webinars, and seminars to educate the public about repetitive strain injuries. They also disseminate information via memos, social media posts, and their website on ways to prevent these types of injuries.
- Educate yourself on the different types of repetitive strain injuries.
- Ensure that your workstation has proper ergonomics.
- Talk to your employer about ways to prevent repetitive strain injuries in the workplace.
When sharing information over social media about this day, be sure to use #RepetitveStrainInjuryAwarenessDay or #RSIAwarenessDay.
INTERNATIONAL REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
Catherine Fenech, a long-time leader for better workplace safety in Canada, established International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day. She launched the first event in 2000 and chose February 29th as the only non-repetitive day on the calendar. During non-leap years, events are held on February 28th.