A Repetitive Strain Injury By Any Other Name May Still Be Covered By Workers Compensation

Posted on: 17 June 2015

No matter what field you work in, if you do the same type of work day in and day out, you are at risk of a repetitive strain injury. Although many people are only familiar with carpal tunnel syndrome, a disease which can affect the wrist and hands, repetitive strain injuries can affect many different parts of your body and may come by many different names. Knowing the injury you have is being caused by your employment is often the first step to ensuring it is covered by your workers compensation insurance.

What Is A Repetitive Strain Injury?

repetitive strain injury, repetitive stress injury, or a repetitive stress disorder (RSD), are all one in the same. These are injuries which are most commonly seen in workers performing various types of repetitive tasks. These injuries are incurred by the musculoskeletal and nervous systems of the body, and may be brought on by awkward or sustained positioning, forceful exertions, mechanical compression, and more. 

Statistically speaking, these types of injuries cause workers to miss more time out of work, and cost the insurance companies more money than any other type of workplace injury. Repetitive stress injuries account for approximately 2/3 of all occupational injuries. It has been estimated these injuries cost employers more than $80 billion per year.

What Other Names Are Repetitive Stress Injuries Called By?

Unfortunately, many workers have never filed a claim for a repetitive stress injury because they do not always identify their condition as being caused by their employment. These injuries are often called by other names and contributed to other causes. Some of the most common names are the following:

  • Tendinosis
  • Bursitis 
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • De Quervain Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Golfer's Elbow, and more

In the younger workers, it may also be called:

  • Gamer's thumb
  • Blackberry thumb
  • Rubik's wrist
  • Stylus finger and more

No matter what the injury is called, all of these conditions are a result of the repetitive use of one or more body parts. For the conditions to be covered under workers' compensation insurance, the repetitive actions must take place on the job, and not in an activity outside of the workplace.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Repetitive Stress Injuries?

In addition to the repetitive actions which result in these injuries, there are other risk factors that make some people more prone to these conditions than others. They are the following:

  • Having poor posture
  • Using a computer, or computer type equipment, for more than four hours per day
  • Having a job that requires constant repetitive motions with your hands
  • Jobs in which you are unable to change tasks or take frequent breaks

There are other physical factors which may also make you a candidate. These include the following:

  • Being in poor physical shape
  • Having arthritis, diabetes, or other medical conditions which affect your hands and arms
  • Having various inflammatory conditions
  • Being overweight, and more

What Are The Symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injuries?

Most repetitive strain injuries do not come on suddenly. They often present with warning signs and symptoms. You may begin to experience burning or shooting pains in your fingers, wrists, forearms, or even in your shoulders. You may have tingling in your fingertips, weakness in your hands or forearms, or develop a lack of strength in your hands. You may notice your hands are colder than usual, or you may begin to drop things more than normal. 

If you begin to experience, or notice any of these symptoms, you should immediately notify your employer. They may require you to complete the necessary paperwork, as well as be seen by their physician, prior to allowing it to be filed as a workers' compensation claim. If you have any difficulty in filing your case, you need to contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney. They will review your case and give you the advice you need on the steps you need to take. For more information, see http://www.grdlaw.com/.

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