Work-related injuries may be difficult to live with and may feel extremely frustrating. You might feel like you have no other option but to do certain tasks at work even though they are painful for you.
Over time, repetitive actions can lead to repetitive-stress injuries. They might be caused by using poor ergonomics or because of overusing your body, but in either case, they are injuries that you should talk about with your employer.
What are repetitive-stress injuries?
Repetitive-stress injuries are injuries that are usually caused by overusing a body part or using it incorrectly. Some common causes of these injuries include:
- Awkward positioning of the limbs while working
- Muscle fatigue
- Vibration while using machines or tools
- Contact stress
- Poor recovery time (for example, working back-to-back shifts with little downtime)
If you are starting to notice that your shoulder is sore after your shift or that your fingers hurt from typing all day, the normal steps to take would be to take some anti-inflammatory medications, rest that part of your body and take it easy until it no longer hurts. Unfortunately, some people don’t have the time to do those things or may not realize that the pain is bothering them until it becomes a much bigger problem.
At that point, it may not be enough to go home and rest. They may need more time off from work, physical therapy or even surgery to attend to the damaged area of the body. That’s where workers’ compensation may come into play as they seek compensation for the work-related injury. Workers’ compensation may cover medical care, lost wages and more.
Repetitive-stress injuries and workers’ compensation
With repetitive-stress injuries, the first step is always to identify what exactly the injury is. To do that, you’ll need to see a medical professional for a diagnosis. Workers’ compensation may cover the cost of your medical care and help you identify the core issue, so you can determine if it’s safe to continue working or if you may have to ask for a reasonable accommodation while you work through physical therapy or other treatment options.