Many workplace injuries are the result of a single or sudden accident. However, some workplace injuries are developed over time due to repetitive stress, and this injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. There are a number of repetitive duty/activity injuries workers can suffer that can lead to long-term, or even a lifetime, of pain including:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is medical condition caused by damage to the median nerve which runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand. When there is pressure on that nerve, it can cause a tremendous amount of pain and limited mobility. When carpal tunnel syndrome develops over time from repeated motions, a worker could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
According to the Mayo Clinic, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms start gradually and become more persistent over time. Most workers report the feeling of numbness or tingling in their thumbs, index and middle fingers. They often try to shake their hands out to relieve the symptoms. That may work at first, but over time, the numb feeling will become constant. The condition can also cause pain in the wrist and the palm of the hand.
Workers who experience these symptoms often describe the sensation as an electric shock through their fingers, traveling from their wrist up through their arm. The symptoms often happen when the worker is holding a steering wheel, a phone, a magazine, or some other small object.
Hand-arm vibration syndrome is a condition resulting from prolonged exposure to vibration. Employees who work with vibrating tools such as jackhammers, chainsaws, polishers, power jigsaws and sanders are especially prone to developing this type of injury.
HAVS, as it is called, is also known as “vibration white finger” because the continuous vibration causes the injured workers’ fingers to turn white. Other symptoms of HAVS include a cold sensation, numbness, tingling, or throbbing pain in the fingers, as well as a loss of grip strength.
Rotator cuff tears are tears in the tissues connecting muscle to bone (tendons) around the shoulder joint. A rotator cuff tear often happens when workers repeatedly perform the same shoulder motions. Symptoms can include shoulder pain and weakness around the shoulder. Treatment can be simple rest and medication, but often times requires expensive physical therapy, cortisol injections, and even surgery.
This condition is caused by an irritation of the tissue connecting the forearm muscle to the elbow. “Tennis elbow” can be caused by repetitive wrist and arm motions. The most common symptom is pain outside the elbow and sometimes in the forearm and wrist. Treatment includes rest, pain relievers and physical therapy.
Workers who overwork their knees can damage the cartilage under their kneecap. That cartilage is a natural shock absorber and when that area is overworked, it can wear thin, creating pain and discomfort. The injury only worsens when a worker must walk up and down stairs, has to kneel, squat, or even sit cross-legged for a long period of time.
“Runner’s knee” is usually treated with rest, pain relievers, and physical therapy. Surgery can also be necessary when these options do not provide relief.
One of the most common causes of lower back pain, lumbar strain, and neck pain, cervical strain, can happen when a worker overuses their neck or back, does not properly protect their neck or back, or when they suffer some type of trauma on the job. If the strain lasts longer than three months, physicians will diagnose the patient with “chronic” cervical or lumbar strain…and it can be debilitating and cause a lifetime of pain.
Between the bones of the spine, we have rubbery discs that protect our vertebrae. When the soft center of the spinal disk pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing, it can irritate the nerves and result in extreme pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs.
Most often, this type of injury is treated with medication and physical therapy—but, there are times surgery is needed to relieve the pain. Many times, employers and workers compensation insurance companies want to avoid paying for costly operative procedures, so they will steer an injured worker away from a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. Georgelis Injury Law has combatted this tactic frequently and makes sure you get the treatment you need and deserve.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has broken down the incidence rates by occupation per 10,000 full-time workers. The professions putting workers most at risk include:
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a repetitive duty/activity injury, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Benefits generally include payment of medical and therapy bills and related out-of-pocket expenses, as well as reimbursement for lost wages.
It is important to notify your employer as soon as your symptoms appear and to seek medical care. When documenting this type of injury with an employer and doctor, tell them when you first started noticing symptoms, what you were doing when you noticed the symptoms, and how it affects your ability to complete tasks both on and off the job.
Claims for repetitive stress injuries can be tricky, and your employer and its insurer may try to stand between you and the benefits you deserve. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys will fight to get you what you deserve while navigating the complicated process for you.
We’re available 24/7 and will come to you for a free consultation. We never collect a fee unless we get money for you. Contact us today and we’ll handle everything from here!
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