Repetitive stress injury

Injuries caused by repeated motions performed during normal work or daily activities.


What is repetitive stress injury (RSI)?

Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) is an injury that arises from continuous repetitive motions. It typically affects overused areas of the body, such as the upper body, neck, back, knees or ankles.

Some of the most common causes of RSIs are desk work like typing, data injury and reading computer screens, as well as manual labor work like installing flooring or carrying heavy materials.

Common work-related repetitive stress injuries

RSIs are typically caused by too many uninterrupted repetitions of an activity or motion. This might involve unnatural or awkward motions such as twisting the wrist, incorrect posture, or muscle fatigue. Common RMIs include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Trigger finger/thumb
  • Tennis elbow
  • Back strains and sprains from picking up items
  • Shin splints

Insurance coverage for RSI-related medical costs

Workers’ compensation insurance is a common insurance for RSI claims. While people often link workers’ comp with sudden incidents like falls, it also covers RSI. Insurance claimants must demonstrate that their repetitive actions at work led to long-term injury.

RSI coverage limitations or exclusions

The main challenge with an RSI claim is proving that the repetitive action is behind the injury. According to Workers’ compensation law, you must show that your job required these repetitive actions and that they directly led to the injury. You might find yourself working with doctors, therapists and investigators who will either validate or refute your claim.

When it comes to reporting an RSI, you’ve got a 120-day window from the moment you realize you have a repetitive stress injury to inform your employer. As for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you have up to three years from when the disability caused by the RSI surfaced — like needing medical care or missing work. Remember that a typical claim can take 18 to 48 months to resolve.

Taking steps to prevent RSIs

RSI may begin as a minor discomfort, but it can quickly escalate into something more debilitating. However, there are measures you can take to help lower your and your employees’ risk of developing RSI, such as:

  • Taking adequate breaks from an activity
  • Access to on-site gyms
  • Company-led exercise programs such as yoga or walking
  • Sharing stretching techniques
  • Setting time limits on certain activities
  • Providing or reimbursing for ergonomic equipment

Implementing these measures can help create a healthier workplace and prevent the occurrence of RSI.

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Coverage for work-related injuries and illness is just one of the many insurance options provided by NEXT. We provide policies for more than 1,300 small business professions. Whether you’re in construction, IT, or marketing, we can provide your small business with just the protection you need.

Let NEXT look after your business. In just 10 minutes, you’ll get a quote, be able to customize your options, and download your certificate of insurance.

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