Work Related Upper Limb Disorders

Wherever you work there is a chance that upper limb disorders could affect you.  They can cause pain and even permanent injury to the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists or hands.

The term Work Related Upper Limb Disorders (WRULD) is the general name used to refer to a range of medical conditions which can be caused by or made worse by work.  Another very common phrase which has been used to describe these conditions is “repetitive strain injury”.

Some common WRULDs are:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tenosynovitis
  • De Quervains Tenosynovitis
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
  • Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)
  • Impingement Syndrome
  • Tendinitis

WRULDs can arise in most types of employment and are not confined to one particular sector. Research has however identified that certain groups of workers have reported significant arm pain.  These include the following groups of workers: –

  • Assembly and production line workers
  • Cleaning and domestic staff
  • Construction Workers
  • Garment machinists
  • Hairdressers
  • Meat and poultry processors
  • Mushroom pickers
  • Pottery workers
  • Secretaries and typists
  • Textile workers

Do you experience any of the following symptoms in your fingers, hands, arms, shoulders or neck?

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Tightness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pins and needles
  • Swelling

Are the symptoms worse when you are at work?

Do they improve when you are away from work?

If so, you may be suffering from a work related upper limb disorder.

If you think that you could be suffering from a work related upper limb disorder you should seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity.  You should also report your symptoms to your employer.

If you believe your symptoms have been caused by your work, you may be entitled to compensation, even if you have not been diagnosed with a specific condition.