Work Blahs May be an Early Sign of RSI

JoAnne Allen, in an article for Reuters (‘Sick worker’ malady may be early RSI sign), reports that “Early nerve damage caused by repetitive motion on the job can cause “sick worker” syndrome, a fatigue or depression that can be mistaken for poor work performance.”

A study published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology, based on work with rats, reports that increased production of proteins known as cytokines can show up in injured nerves as early as three weeks after the first signs of stress, and are known to spark symptoms of malaise. “At three weeks, even before the rats experienced pain from their wrist injuries, we watched them self-regulate their work behavior,” a researcher noted. “With inflammatory proteins in the bloodstream, they began to slack off from completing their tasks.”

Researchers theorize that as cytokines first appear in newly-injured nerves of workers suffering repetitive strain injury, signs of “sick worker” syndrome begin. People may call in sick with undefined symptoms, or slow down their work production or a low-grade depression may set in, the researchers said. “This undefined feeling of malaise may be telling the body to take some time off to heal, before things get worse.”

Randy Rasa

Randy is an engineer/programmer/web designer who has suffered from repetitive strain injury off and on for over a decade.

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