Repeated Attacks: Repetitive Stress Injuries And Workers' Comp

Robin Wells

When people think of on-the-job injuries, normally machinery malfunctions or other industrial type accidents come to mind. Some injuries, however, take place over an extended period of time and are more gradual in nature. Any job that requires constant repeated motions can cause repetitive stress injuries, such as small assembly work or keyboarding. Those motions cause tiny tears, and because you have to work each day, the tears never get a real chance to heal. Read on to learn more about repetitive stress injuries and how you can be compensated for them through workers' comp.

Common Repetitive Stress Conditions

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: If you think of your wrist as containing a passageway of nerves, you can see where the term "tunnel" comes from. When work activities compress the nerves in the wrist, they become numb, swollen, and painful.
  • Bursitis: The tell-tale sign of bursitis is a feeling of crunching or crackling when moving the affected joint, and the knees and elbows seem to affected by this painful disorder frequently. Sufferers experience tenderness and pain.
  • Tendinitis: Tendons, when healthy, are like rubber bands that attach our muscles to our bones. When inflamed through overuse, however, they begin to feel warm to the touch and painful. Eventually movement begins to be affected, resulting in immobility.

Steps to Compensation

1. Seek medical attention immediately, and let the doctor know how your job duties may have caused the condition. Injuries like these only get worse with repeated abuse, so don't delay in getting treatment. Keep good records of all treatments.

2. Inform your supervisor about your condition, and make sure that they understand that you want to file a workers' comp claim. Your supervisor is responsible for filing the workers' comp insurance claim, but they will need your input for a complete and accurate accounting of the injury. Be as exacting as possible with the details of your condition, such as when you first began noticing the problem and how the condition affects your ability to do your job.

3. Stay in treatment for your condition. Keep all medical appointments, comply with any lab tests and prescribed physical therapy measures, and take all prescribed medications as ordered. Failure to do so could result in the workers' comp insurance agency ruling that your condition is not serious enough to merit benefits.

These injuries, if caught early enough, can sometimes be remedied with rest, but often require surgery. No matter the outcome, keep in mind that you are entitled to have your medical expenses fully covered and that you are entitled to be paid a portion of your salary while recuperate at home.

Don't delay seeking help from a workers' comp attorney if you are having issues with your employer or the workers' comp insurance agency. You are entitled to benefits, so make sure that you follow the above suggestions and get some professional legal muscle behind you.

For workers' comp insurance, contact a company such as Brown & Brown of Prescott.