Repetitive Stress Injuries in the Workplace

man grabbing hurt wrist due to a repetitive stress injury

Repetitive stress injuries (RSI), are temporary or permanent injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons caused by doing the same motion over and over again. The most well-known RSI is carpal tunnel syndrome, which can cause numbness, clumsiness, loss of motion, flexibility, and strength. Many other RSIs have similar side-effects and may require serious surgery to fix the problem.

Who is at Risk for a Repetitive Stress Injury?

Many jobs these days are performed while at a desk working on a computer. Typing, using a mouse, or using a touch screen daily can cause cumulative injuries to the hands, wrists, and forearms. In addition to desk jobs, the following are high-risk occupations for an RSI.

  • Nurses and health care aids
  • Janitors and housekeeping cleaners
  • Grocery and store clerks
  • Bus drivers
  • Delivery workers
  • Plumbers
  • Firefighters
  • Musicians
  • Professional athletes

Common Types of Injuries

There are over 100 types of injuries that fall under the RSI umbrella. Below are a few of the most common ones.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: specific nerve damage in the wrist, which can lead to aches, numbness, tingling or weakness in the hand or fingers. Common in jobs that require computer and keyboard use.
  • Irritation and inflammation of bursa: a bursa is a fluid-filled sac that helps cushion a joint. The irritation and inflammation is often caused by overusing joints, carrying heavy items, and reaching overhead.
  • Cervical radiculopathy: a condition in which the nerves in the cervical spinal column, or the neck, become damaged due to a compression of the discs
  • Tendinitis: a condition in which the tendons, or band of tissue that connect the muscle and bones, become torn or inflamed.
  • Patellofemoral syndrome: the weakening of kneecap cartilage due to repeated kneeling squatting or climbing.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Under the Workers’ Compensation Law, individuals who suffer a repetitive stress injury occurring as a result of working have the right to receive benefits. If you think you are developing an RSI, don’t wait to report the injury or ignore symptoms in hopes that they will go away. You may not qualify for benefits if you wait too long to report an injury or file a claim.

RSI workers’ compensation claims can be challenging due to the difficulty of proving that the RSI is related to an individual’s job. It is up to the employee to prove that there is a link between their job and their condition. With enough medical evidence, legal counsel, and tenacity, it can be done.

Many people benefit from hiring an attorney to successfully file an RSI workers’ compensation claim. The attorneys at Erwin, McCane & Daly can assist in proving a work-related injury and securing the benefits you need and deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.