Workplace injuries are often associated with a single, life-changing accident such as a car accident or a slip and fall. In many cases, however, work-related injuries happen over the long term as a result of the cumulative effect of repetitive activities on the job. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits may be available to cover the expenses and lost income associated with repetitive strain injuries that occur in the workplace. To learn more about whether you are eligible for benefits, consider contacting a Findlay repetitive strain injury lawyer at Schaffer & Associates LPA at (419) 359-8091 today.
How Do Repetitive Strains Happen at Work?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, repetitive strain injuries are one of the fastest-growing threats to workplace safety and health. A type of musculoskeletal disorder, repetitive strain injuries refer to the pain caused by repeated movement of a specific part of the body. Typically, a worker is at risk for repetitive strain injury when they are required to sit or stand in the same position for an extended period of time or repeatedly perform the same manual tasks.
It is possible to sustain repetitive strain injuries in any part of the body, but these injuries most commonly occur in the shoulders, back, forearms and wrists, elbows, and hands. These injuries often happen gradually, developing over time as the worker continues to repeat the same motion and strain their body. The symptoms of repetitive strain injuries can vary greatly, ranging from a subtle ache to sharp pain in the area. Numbness, stiffness, and swelling can occur as well.
Work-related repetitive strain injuries are quite common, contributing to roughly one-third of all days-away-from-work cases. Moreover, there are over 100 different types of repetitive strain injuries. Some of the common types of repetitive strain injuries that a worker can develop include the following:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: an incredibly common condition that causes pain, numbness, tingling, or general weakness in the hand and wrist. This is a common injury for individuals who perform jobs that require repetitive finger and wrist use.
- Raynaud’s syndrome: causes some parts of the body to feel numb in response to cold temperatures or extreme stress.
- Lateral Epicondylitis: more commonly referred to as tennis elbow, this condition occurs when the tendons attached to the forearm become irritated.
- Trigger finger: a condition that affects the tendons that flex the fingers and thumb.
- Dystonia: a movement disorder that causes muscles to contract involuntarily.
- Tendinitis: an acute or chronic condition where the tissues between the muscles and bones become inflamed.
- Spinal disorders: Conditions such as herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and sciatica cause pain in the spine.
Are Repetitive Strain Injuries Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
When a worker is injured as a direct result of their job activities, they are typically entitled to different types of workers’ compensation benefits. As such, repetitive strain injuries are generally eligible for workers’ compensation, as long as you can confirm that the injuries were caused by your work duties. Navigating this process and proving your injuries can be difficult and it can be helpful to seek legal guidance. If you are experiencing frequent pain in a part of your body related to work duties, consider contacting an experienced Findlay repetitive strain injury lawyer at Schaffer & Associates LPA to review your case and determine if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
As knowledgeable and experienced Findlay repetitive strain injury lawyers, we work closely with individuals to provide information regarding their options following a workplace injury. Some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive from current and prospective clients include the following.
Will Workers’ Compensation Cover a Repetitive Strain Injury?
Yes, workers’ compensation benefits can cover a repetitive strain injury that was sustained in the workplace. Workers’ compensation covers a range of costs and expenses associated with job-related injuries. In particular, if you sustained a repetitive strain injury, workers’ compensation can cover the following costs:
- Medical treatment: healthcare expenses can pile up quickly, and workers’ compensation will pay for diagnostic tests, surgeries, follow-up visits, prescriptions, or other necessary treatment for your repetitive strain injury.
- Lost wages: if your injury is severe, you may be required to miss work or accept a lower-paying position to accommodate your condition. Workers’ compensation benefits will replace this lost income.
- Vocational rehabilitation: in some cases, ongoing care and rehabilitation are necessary to treat the injury long-term. These costs can be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
How Can a Repetitive Strain Injury Be Prevented?
Repetitive strain injuries can have a significant impact on your ability to work and perform job-related activities. The amount of time that it takes to heal from repetitive strain injuries depends on the person and the severity of the injury. To avoid prolonged healing periods, it can be beneficial to prevent these injuries before they become a major problem. The following steps can be helpful to prevent repetitive strain injuries:
- Adjust your workstation, if possible. Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level and that your keyboard is at the proper height, allowing you to relax your shoulders.
- Wear protective equipment or braces during work activities.
- Taking regular breaks from continuous or repetitive tasks.
- Seek medical attention at the first signs of strain.
- Adjust your seating and posture and stretch frequently throughout the day.
- If you are standing, ensure that you are standing on a rubber mat and shift your weight regularly.
- Use a comfortably loose grip on tools or steering wheels, if applicable.
- If you work in cold weather, consider performing warm-up exercises to prepare your muscles and mitigate strain.
Hiring a Findlay Repetitive Strain Injury Lawyer Near You
Repetitive strain injuries impact the lives and work of numerous Ohio workers every year. If you have developed a repetitive strain injury as a result of your job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Obtaining these benefits can be complicated, however, leading many individuals to seek assistance from an experienced Findlay repetitive strain injury lawyer. At Schaffer & Associates LPA, we work closely with injured workers to prove their workers’ compensation claims and secure the benefits they need. To speak with our team today, consider scheduling a free consultation with us at (419) 359-8091.