Repetitive stress injuries are those that occur because a particular part of your body has repeatedly been worn down. For example, if you perform the same movement with your shoulder every day, you could find that you soon develop a sore shoulder and, eventually, pain with movement.
While there are steps you can take to prevent injuries, like taking breaks and avoiding too many repetitive movements day after day, there are some jobs that make people more prone to developing them. Whether you work in a factory or are a construction worker, you’re performing tasks that could lead to repetitive stress on your joints, bones and tendons.
Repetitive Stress Injuries And Workers’ Compensation
IMPORTANT: Make sure to to notify your employer as soon as you start feeling the symptoms of pain and/or discomfort from the repetitive work, even if there was not a specific incident. Reporting the problem sooner than later will give you a better chance of your employer sending you to a doctor and not denying your workers’ comp claim from the start.
If your employer will not send you for medical treatment, and you go on your own to an urgent care, hospital or personal doctor, always make sure to tell the doctor and/or staff that you believe your condition comes from the specific repetitive work you do for your job. And make sure that it’s noted in writing that your injury is work-related.
What are the warning signs of repetitive stress?
To prevent a repetitive stress injury from happening, one thing you can do is focus on the signs that your body is fatigued. For example, some signs of repetitive stress might include:
- Swelling and stiffness in the joints.
- Cramping, aching or tingling in the area.
- Pain from pressure or movement in the wrists, elbows, back, and neck.
- Reduced hand grip strength.
- Burning sensations or numbness in the hands and fingers.
- Blurry vision.
- Double vision.
- Sore, itchy, dry eyes.
- Reduced range of motion.
If you start to see these kinds of symptoms appear, then you need to look into seeing a medical provider to get treatment.
Since your injuries are linked to your workplace, you may want to reach out to your employer first. Express that you think you’re suffering from repetitive stress, and then discuss going to see a workers’ compensation medical provider.
If you need medical help before you talk to your employer, go to the emergency room, urgent care or your personal doctor and state that you think this is a work-related injury. They will have special documents they can get ready for your claim.
You deserve support if you have an injury
If you develop an injury because you’ve been working, your employer’s workers’ compensation should cover your medical care and other financial needs while you’re off work recovering. Addressing your repetitive stress injury now could prevent you from suffering from serious complications later.