This site is intended for health professionals only

Report highlights cost of repetitive strain injury

Workers should be given more government help to reduce repetitive strain injuries (RSI), the body that represents 48,000 of the UK's physiotherapists has said.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) said that new research showed little progress in tackling the problem in the last six years.

According to official figures, 213,000 people had a musculoskelatal upper limb or neck disorder caused or made worse by work last year. More than 80,000 of these were new cases, similar to the 2001/02 number.

A report from the society said that RSI costs firms £300 million a year in sick pay and lost productivity, but employers were still not doing enough to prevent their staff developing the condition.

CSP spokeswoman, Pauline Cole, said: "There is a clear opportunity for employers to do more to provide occupational health services, both with regard to prevention of RSI and rehabilitation.

"The CSP is calling on the government to both encourage and enforce measures to address this with legislation, combined with incentives and best practice guidance. We may then, after the frustration of many years of no progress, begin to see some reduction in the rates of this almost completely preventable condition."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy