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Retail worker’s guide to repetitive motion injuries

Some workplace injuries develop over months or years. You might not realize the extent of the injury until the pain becomes impossible to ignore.

This is often the case with repetitive motion injuries. Georgia, like most U.S. states, allows workers’ compensation claims for such injuries. As a retail worker, you should understand what repetitive motion injuries are and how to know if you have one.

What are the most common repetitive motion injuries?

Common conditions associated with repetitive motion injuries include:

  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Herniated disks
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Tendinitis
  • Tennis elbow

Why are retail workers at risk?

Most jobs pose some repetitive motion injury risk. However, specific hazards retail workers face include:

  • Lifting and carrying boxes
  • Bending and reaching to stock shelves
  • Scanning purchases
  • Using a computer
  • Working long shifts without breaks

Performing these tasks repeatedly puts stress on nerves, muscles and connective tissues.

What are the symptoms?

Pain, swelling, tingling, numbness or stiffness are all signs that you may have a repetitive motion disorder. If you have these symptoms, your doctor may order x-rays or other tests.

What is the treatment?

Some injuries heal on their own with minimal intervention, while others require ongoing physical therapy. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery.

How can retail workers avoid repetitive motion injuries?

Practice good posture and proper lifting techniques to reduce your risk of injury. If you sit in a chair, make sure it is an appropriate height. Work at a reasonable pace and take your scheduled breaks.

If you work in retail, you should be aware of the risk of repetitive motion injuries, how to prevent them, and what rights you have if you experience one at work.