It Bears Repeating: Repetitive Stress Injuries And Workers' Comp
Work related accidents can be sudden, but some types of injuries are accumulative. These are the types of injuries that may never occur if not for the need to repeatedly make certain motions required by your job. For example, typing on a computer keyboard for long periods of time may damage your wrists. Assembly line work that calls for repetitive motions, like putting lids on cans or securing a bolt by hand, can lead to pain and injury in the arms and hands. The body is amazing at healing itself, but the tiny tears and other injuries that occur need time and rest to heal properly, and some jobs require that you continue to make those motions to do your work. Workers' compensation is available for repetitive stress injuries, so read on for more information about common injuries and how to get compensated for them.
Common Conditions Caused By Repetitive Stress
The following are a few of most well-known conditions, but any physical condition that can be directly linked to your position at work and the repetitive tasks required by your employer can be classified as repetitive stress related.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The nerve passageway in the wrist gives this disorder its name, and the nerves in that area can be compressed to the point of causing numbness, swelling, and pain when overused. Rest can often help, but for those who must depend on wrist motions to do their job, such as court stenographers or typists, that is seldom possible. In some cases, relief can only be granted with surgery.
Tendinitis: This disorder often affects the tendons all over the body, which can be identified by a warm feeling in the affected area that eventually leads to sharp pains and immobility. Anyone from an assembly line worker to a clerical worker can find themselves the victim of this debilitating condition.
Bursitis: This disorder can make itself known with a crunching or crackling sound when the affected joint is moved. Elbows, knees or any joint can be affected by this condition.
Getting Compensated for Your Injury
1. Report your injury to your supervisor immediately and follow up to ensure that an accident report is filed with your employer's workers' comp company.
2. Seek medical attention immediately, even using your own health insurance if necessary. These injuries can become dramatically worse if not treated, even causing permanent damage. Your health insurance will seek payment from your workers' comp insurance, so save all receipts and paperwork from your doctor's visits and make sure that you get reimbursed for any co-pays or deductibles.
3. Be sure that you let your doctor know that your injury is work-related from the very beginning. These types of injuries can sometimes be more challenging to prove, so a good trail of evidence is vital, and your medical records are a prime piece of evidence.
4. Make sure that you continue to seek treatment, abide by the physician's instructions, and take all prescribed medications. You don't want to leave any doubt about the seriousness of your injury by missing appointments or therapy sessions.
Talk to a workers' comp attorney if you feel that your claim is not being taken seriously or if you have been turned down for benefits.