When you make your living in a Massachusetts office, on an assembly line or in a similar environment where you repeat the same tasks, you may develop work-related repetitive motion injuries. Such injuries, which often lead to musculoskeletal disorders, are a major cause of missed work. They have also become so common that they now account for 31% of all American worker injuries and illnesses.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common musculoskeletal disorder experienced by American workers, impacting more than 8 million of them. Of those 8 million who have carpal tunnel syndrome, about 120,000 have it bad enough to warrant surgery every year.

Carpal tunnel symptoms

If you develop carpal tunnel syndrome, you may start noticing a tingling sensation in your fingers or hands as your condition progresses. Some people compare the feeling to a mild electric shock. You may also notice that your hands and fingers are weaker than they used to be. You may find yourself struggling to grip items in your hand, and you may also find that you are more prone to dropping things than you were prior.

Long recovery periods

When you suffer a repetitive motion injury, you may find that it takes a long time to recover from it. The average American worker with a repetitive motion injury takes 23 days to make a complete recovery, which is two weeks longer, on average, than it takes employees to recover from all other injury types.

The financial toll

While it is in your best interests to fully recover from your injury or surgery before returning to work, it is in your employer’s to take steps to reduce such injuries in your place of business. Research shows that carpal tunnel and other repetitive motion injuries cost employers an estimated 80 billion every year.