overuse syndromes

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Definition - What does overuse syndromes mean?

Overuse syndromes, also called repetitive strain injuries (RSI), is an umbrella term for a host of health conditions attributable to extended periods of awkward postures/stances, cumbersome load(s), strenuous duties/tasks, and manipulation of vibrating equipment. Individuals who hold manual and sedentary positions are susceptible to overuse syndromes carrying physiological implications that, if left untreated, can damage joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons, undermining the quality of life.

SureHire explains overuse syndromes

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), statistical reports indicate that overuse syndromes place a significant financial constraint on businesses from a surge of workers’ compensation claims, forfeiting the bottom line against liabilities. A physician will perform a battery of testing to determine the causal factors associated with symptoms, which depending on the area of the body, can include sporadic numbness/tingling, radiating discomfort, localized inflammation and malaise (general weakness). Although essential job tasks are often immediate culprits for developing overuse syndromes, ergonomic solutions are available to help moderate workloads through rest breaks, modified workstations, and instilling healthy lifestyle practices for employees to adopt and follow.

Individuals can experience a range of overuse syndromes that can include bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cysts, Raynaud’s syndrome, tendinitis, and tenosynovitis (wrist tendinitis), drawing on selective treatment interventions such as physical therapy or surgery. For many employers, an office ergonomic plan initiative is an evolving trend that raises hierarchical awareness between supervisors and employees, utilizing educational resources and integrative technology that highlights RSI-related data for employees to access. Employers must advance transparent goals about potential health risk factors that play into the morbidity rate of overuse syndromes, carrying epidemiological repercussions that can lead to musculoskeletal injury(s) that are otherwise avoidable by open communication with their workforce.

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