Repetitive Stress Injuries
When you slip and fall on the job or suffer an immediate injury, workers compensation will almost always compensate you for your injuries. Few people would argue that a construction worker who falls of a ladder is entitled to a remedy for his or her injuries. However, more and more Americans engage in jobs that do not pose an immediate threat of injury, and are more likely to suffer from a repetitive stress injury (RSI), a gradual accumulation of damage to parts of the body as a result of repeated motions. This begs the question: does workers compensation cover gradual injuries resulting from everyday movements? The answer: absolutely. If you believe you suffer from an RSI, contact us and we can help you get your workers compensation claim started.
Common RSIs include:
- Carpal Tunnel: Between four to ten million people in the United States suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Causes are commonly frequent typing and the movement of a computer mouse, resulting in pressure on nerves of the wrist. This injury often presents itself as tingling in the hands or wrist and trouble grasping objects.
- Bursitis: Bursitis occurs when sacs that provide cushion around the muscles become inflamed. This can happen near any joint that performs a repetitive motion.
- Tendonitis: This results when a tendon becomes inflamed. Symptoms include swelling and tenderness in the affected area.
Symptoms range from mild to severe, likely beginning gradually and becoming more intense. These injuries are commonly caused by typing, using a computer mouse, swiping items at the supermarket checkout, grasping tools, working on an assembly line, and training for sports.
Workers who repeat the same movements, stressing the same muscles are at highest risk. Many employees stress the same muscles, maintain the same posture, and lift the same heavy objects daily. Even sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time can put you at risk of an RSI. Aside from desk job workers, dental hygienists, construction workers, cleaners, cooks, bus drivers, and musicians are common patients. Treatments may range from rest or prescription drugs, to surgery in extreme cases.
Here are some ways you can avoid an RSI at your desk job:
- Adjust your position to promote good posture.
- Sit in a supportive chair.
- Avoid sitting cross-legged.
- Try and stand more. Some estimates say 20-30 minutes each hour is best.
- Place your computer in a way that prevents neck stress.
- Use a headset if you are on the phone often.
- Take frequent breaks from your desk to walk around and stretch.
If you believe you suffer from an RSI, report it to your employer as soon as you have reason to know of it and seek healthcare advice. No fault is necessary to seek workers compensation in Massachusetts- you simply must show that you were injured on the job, even if you believe that you are partially at fault. Workers can be compensated for hospital costs and costs associates with long term damage, loss of productivity, and time way from work. Unfortunately, insurance companies often deny completely valid workers compensation claims and take advantage of individuals who do not seek legal representation. We are here to help you avoid this common pitfall. We know your rights, and you deserve a remedy for your injury.
We have an experienced team of workers compensation lawyers that are well versed in these suits. Our experienced work injury lawyers are available around the clock to answer your questions or to provide you a free case consultation. To speak to a local and dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer, give us a call at 617.492.3000.