Many workers in physical jobs move to less physical ones as they get older. It is part promotion and part the realization that your body can only take so much physical labor.
Yet the new jobs they take present their own risks, often related to the need to sit and use a computer for hours each day.
Let’s say you spent 10 years lugging heavy materials around a construction site without once taking a day off due to illness. After a few months of working at a desk, your wrist starts to hurt at the end of each day. It might never cross your mind to mention it.
Perhaps you assume you will get over it like you got over the aches and pains you used to suffer. Or maybe you fear your former colleagues telling you that you have “gone soft” since you started working inside. Yet it may be more serious than you think.
Repetitive strain injuries can be debilitating
Pain or tenderness in your hand, wrist or lower arm could all be signs of a repetitive strain injury caused by typing. They are widespread among office workers in all industries, and they are unlikely to go away on their own.
Report it to your boss and ask to see a doctor. If you catch the problems early, you may be able to solve them through rest and adjusting your workstation. If you ignore them, they may become crippling, preventing you from working at all.
You should be able to claim workers’ compensation for any medical costs or time off work needed if the doctor does diagnose you with a repetitive strain injury.