Repetitive Stress Injuries

Does workers’ compensation cover repetitive stress injuries? In many cases, the answer to this question is, “Yes.” Learn how a work injury attorney can help you collect medical and disability benefits.

Repetitive stress injuries are among the most-common causes of work-related pain. They are also among the most-commonly overlooked. Many employees work in pain every day as a result of suffering from repetitive stress injuries that could – and should – be treated by a doctor. In many cases, this is because these employees are unaware that workers’ compensation covers repetitive stress injuries.

Of course, workers’ compensation does not cover all repetitive stress injuries. In order to file a successful claim for benefits, you will need to be able to prove that you suffered your injury on the job. You also need to be eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits, and you need to make sure the time period for filing your worker’s compensation claim has not expired.

What is a Repetitive Stress Injury (or Repetitive Strain Injury)?

A repetitive stress injury, also known as a repetitive strain injury, is a physical injury that results from the accumulation of wear and tear on a particular part of the body. While performing a physical activity over and over again can build muscle and strengthen the ligaments and tendons, it can also wear these tissues down; and, over time, this can lead to a painful and debilitating repetitive stress injury.

There are many types of repetitive stress injuries, and these injuries can result from several work-related causes. For example, some of the most-common types of work-related repetitive strain injuries include:

  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • De Quervain’s syndrome
  • Lateral epicondylitis (also known as “tennis elbow”)
  • Medial epicondylitis (also known as “golfer’s elbow”)
  • Stenosing tenosynovitis (also known as “trigger finger”)
  • Tendinosis
  • Tendonitis
  • Tenosynovitis

These (and other) repetitive strain injuries can result from work activities such as:

  • Assembling products or product components
  • Climbing ladders, scaffolding, or stairs
  • Holding your hands or arms above your shoulders
  • Lifting boxes or other objects
  • Sitting in a stationary position
  • Squatting and standing repeatedly
  • Twisting, swiping, and other repetitive motions
  • Typing on a computer keyboard or tablet screen
  • Using a computer mouse
  • Using hand tools or power tools

What are the Warning Signs and Symptoms of a Repetitive Stress Injury?

Since there are many types of repetitive stress injuries (or repetitive strain injuries), the warning signs and symptoms of these injuries vary widely as well. If you have any concerns about a potential work-related repetitive stress injury, you should see a doctor promptly. It is also important to discuss your situation with a work injury attorney, as you may need to see a “company doctor” for treatment, and you may only have a very short amount of time to notify your employer about your injury.

While each type of repetitive stress injury has its own unique set of symptoms, broadly speaking, some of the more-common examples of symptoms of repetitive stress injuries include:

  • Pain that worsens with particular motions or physical activities
  • Chronic pain that doesn’t go away after work
  • Stiffness or swelling in the affected area of the body
  • Numbness, tingling, or throbbing in the affected area of the body
  • Loss of strength or mobility in the affected area of the body

How Can You Prove that Your Repetitive Strain Injury is Work-Related?

As we mentioned above, in order to collect workers’ compensation benefits for a repetitive strain injury, you will need to be able to prove that your injury is work-related. So, how do you do this?

Proving the cause of a repetitive stress injury requires a comprehensive medical diagnosis as well as a clear understanding of your daily work activities. In addition to seeing your “company doctor” (if you are required to do so), your workers’ compensation attorney may also refer you to another doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating work-related repetitive stress injuries. Typically, this doctor will agree to not to collect payment until you receive medical benefits for your repetitive stress injury.

If you are suffering from the symptoms of a repetitive stress injury, your next step should be to contact a workers’ compensation attorney in your town or city. Your lawyer will be able to explain everything you need to know about choosing a doctor, notifying your employer, and filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

What are Your Rights if You Suffered a Repetitive Strain Injury at Work?

Did you suffer a repetitive stress injury on the job? Find out if you are entitled to financial compensation from a local work injury attorney.