Repetitive Stress Injuries
The workers’ compensation system is a terrific benefit for Georgia employees. Any worker injured on the job can seek compensation for medical care and partial replacement of lost wages if their injuries keep them out of work. Even better, the benefits are no-fault, which means it does not matter who is to blame for the accident. All that matters is whether you were injured on the job—if you were, then your injuries are covered.
Repetitive stress injuries, however, present a closer question for workers’ compensation benefits. Unlike people who are injured when a crane falls on top of them, those presenting repetitive stress injuries need more documentation that they were actually injured at work. To help yourself get the benefits you deserve, please reach out to Slappey & Sadd, leading Atlanta workers’ comp attorneys today, 404.255.6677.Common Repetitive Stress Injuries
Not every injury suffered at the job site is the result of a crushing, traumatic blow. Instead, constant motion can ultimately cause damage to a worker, leaving them in considerable pain and making work all but impossible. Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys have seen many types of repetitive stress injuries, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: a worker suffers swelling inside the tunnel created by bone and ligament in the wrist, which presses on the median nerve running up the arm. As a result, the worker feels numbness and tingling.
- Tendinitis: tendons connect bones to muscle, and any tears can cause pain and inflammation. Many workers suffer tendinitis in the shoulder, wrist, ankle, or elbow.
- Bursitis: inflammation of the sac that helps cushion the friction between tendon and bone.
- Cervical radiculopathy: holding your head at an awkward angle for a length of time can cause compressions in the discs in the neck, leading to debilitating pain.
- Myofascial damage: overworked muscles can experience swelling and pain.
Of course, many workers experience some occasional pain after a long day at work, but this pain should go away with some rest and a few ibuprofen. If it doesn’t, and you experience pain daily thereafter, then you need to see a doctor immediately.Occupations With Frequent Repetitive Stress Injuries
Any worker can get injured, but we tend to see repetitive stress injuries in certain occupations:
- Office and clerical workers
- Data entry professionals
- Construction workers
- Factory and assembly line workers
- Grocery baggers
- Nurses and nurse’s aides
Many of these jobs require consistent, repetitive motions that inflame and damage soft-tissue. For example, data entry professionals tend to make the same keystroke with very little variation for eight hours a day. Unsurprisingly, they can develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Nurses and CNAs repeatedly lift patients, which can put stress on the joints. It is not unusual for them to soon begin developing long-term problems.Documenting the Source of Your Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries can differ a little bit from other workplace injuries because you could have a harder time proving that you suffered the injury at work. When a piece of machinery lands on you, by contrast, it is pretty obvious that the injury occurred at the job site, and qualifying for workers’ compensation is easier.
With a repetitive stress injury, the fear is that you might have sustained the injury while at home. Nevertheless, these types of injuries can qualify for workers’ comp benefits, but you need to meet with an experienced Atlanta attorney who can help you compile the evidence you need.Preventing Repetitive Stress Injuries
All workers should be proactive about preventing injury, including repetitive stress injuries. Begin by following some common-sense tips:
- Take all your breaks. Don’t work through breaks thinking you will please your boss. Instead, take all breaks allowed, whether they are compensated or not. Ideally, you will also be able to take a quick, five-minute break at least every hour. This can give you a chance to relax and reduce the risk of a repetitive stress injury.
- Stretch. During your break, engage in regular stretching. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons can become stressed over time. Massage them gently and then stretch them out so that they remain flexible.
- Raise concerns with your employer. Having you go out on workers’ comp only costs your employer money. Tell them that the repetitive tasks are taking a toll on your body and ask if there is anything you can do. For example, your boss might be willing to let do something different for a part of the day as a change of pace.
- Ask for ergonomic equipment. You might need an ergonomic keyboard that can reduce the stress you feel on your wrists or an ergonomic chair that can help you maintain good posture. Other equipment can help you lift heavy loads without putting strain on your body. Ask for any equipment available that will reduce stress on your body, and make sure that you use it properly. If you don’t know how to use the equipment, ask.
- See a doctor as soon as you suspect an injury. The sooner you get treatment, the better. You might be able to prevent a problem from getting worse.
Don’t forget about your sick time, either, if you are lucky enough to have it. You might be able to restore your body by taking a much-needed day off to stretch and get a professional massage.Speak With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta
Not every workplace injury is dramatic. Instead, some slowly build up over time, but the effects on your body are just as devastating. At Slappey & Sadd, we have met with many workers suffering mightily from repetitive stress injuries, and we are here to help them qualify for benefits. We have helped people around the state of Georgia, including DeKalb County and Walton County.
Please call us right away. If your employer rejects your workers’ comp claim, you will need an experienced attorney by your side. We can immediately take over your case and present a compelling argument that your injuries qualify under the applicable insurance policy.
Please contact us today by calling 404.255.6677 or sending us a message online.