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If you are a worker subject to periods of muscular tension or if you repeatedly carry out the same physical tasks you should be aware of repetitive strain injury (RSI). This is a painful condition generally caused by poor posture or repeated physical motion that generally affects the muscles, tendons and nerves of the upper body, especially the arms and the upper back. RSI is generic term and covers a wide range of different conditions affecting various parts of the body. If repetitive strain injury is caused by activities carried out at work then it may be possible for an RSI solicitor to make an repetitive strain injury compensation claim against a negligent employer.

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) affects thousands of people every year in a wide range of employment and the consequences can have devastating effects on work, social life and family relationships. If you suffer from an injury that is the result of your employer failing to take adequate care of your health and safety our RSI solicitors can help you to get the compensation you deserve.

Repetitive Strain Injury Symptoms

The symptoms to watch out for include recurrent pain in the upper body, the back, the shoulders and the arms, hands and wrists. This pain may be associated with tingling and numbness and weakness in the muscles affected and in addition endurance and strength are likely to be compromised. One of the first symptoms of RSI is pain at night whilst in bed. Sufferers may simply think that bad positioning has caused the discomfort but if you experience repeated discomfort be wary that it may be a sign of RSI.

Symptoms of RSI include :-

  • tightness, stiffness, soreness or burning in the hands, wrists, fingers, forearms or elbows
  • tingling, coldness, or numbness in the hands
  • loss of strength and coordination in the hands
  • pain and discomfort
  • feeling a need to massage your hands, wrists, and arms

RSI Causes

Repetitive strain injury occurs as a result of repeated physical movements doing damage to tendons, nerves, muscles and other soft body tissues. Work is repetitive when it requires the same muscle groups to be used over and over again during the working day and use of frequent movements for prolonged periods. Rapid or prolonged repetition may not allow sufficient time for recovery and can cause muscle fatigue due to depletion of energy and a build up of metabolic waste materials. The damage caused can be serious and in advanced cases can cause great pain and permanent disability. Many occupations can give rise to the characteristics of this injury as a result of the typical tasks performed each day.


If you are suffering from the discomfort of RSI already there are options and you should see your doctor or an occupational therapist for advice. Medicine that might be effective includes pain-relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Soft tissue therapy works by decompressing the area surrounding the RSI, promoting circulation and natural healing. Massage therapy can act to help the sufferer learn how to relax their muscles.

Risk Assessments

The rise of computer use and flat, light-touch keyboards that permit high speed typing has resulted in an epidemic of injury to the hands, arms and shoulders. Employers of keyboard workers must comply with the provisions of the Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. In addition, all employers are required to undertake risk assessments of their employees under the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1992. This includes looking at the amount and type of work, and adequate breaks. Proper training must be provided by employers of keyboard operators, including guidance on posture and position at the work station.

Medical Conditions

Repetitive strain injury encompasses a number of conditions including :-

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • tendonitis,
  • bursitis
  • tenosynovitis
  • DeQuervain's syndrome
  • thoracic outlet syndrome,
  • trigger finger/thumb
  • myofascial pain syndrome,
  • reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

RSI Solicitors

Our RSI solicitors will initially assess your repetitive strain injury compensation claim at no cost to you. and will then deal with your RSI compensation claim using the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. You will be kept fully informed in writing about the progress of your claim and your RSI solicitor will always be available to discuss your compensation claim on the telephone. If you would like advice at no cost on repetitive strain injury compensation claims from an RSI solicitor just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts will speak to you on the phone with no further obligation. If after talking to us you decide not to take matters further then you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our advice.



*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here