People qualify for workers’ compensation when they get hurt at work or when a doctor diagnoses them with a work-acquired medical condition. Repetitive stress injuries, sometimes called overuse or repetitive motion injuries, are a common source of workers’ compensation claims.
Office workers might need benefits if they develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Factory workers may need benefits for repetitive motion injuries in their backs, hips or knees. The sooner you identify and get treatment for a repetitive stress injury, the less likely it is to permanently affect your quality of life and work. What are some of the warning signs of repetitive motion injuries?
Work that has become painful to perform over the years
When you perform the same tasks day after day, you become more skilled and efficient at doing that work. Unfortunately, frequently using your body in the same way can result in small amounts of damage or localized inflammation.
After years of work, someone may eventually notice picking up a part hurts their shoulder or typing makes their arms. Pain on the job, especially if it crops up for the end of your shift, is a sign that overuse has started to take its toll.
Loss of strength
In theory, doing the same task repeatedly should make you stronger, but the damage to your musculature or connective tissue caused by overuse can actually reduce your functional strength. It may become harder and more tiring for you to do tasks that have long been part of your job. Noticeable changes in strength and endurance, especially in frequently used body parts, could be signs of a developing repetitive stress injury.
Loss of range of motion
People often develop flexibility issues as they get older. Less frequent physical activity combined with a lifetime of wear and tear can limit how easy it is for you to reach over your head or stretch your arm fleetly across your torso.
Younger people can develop flexibility issues due to repetitive job responsibilities. You notice issues with your range of motion or flexibility either at work or in your life outside of the job, those issues could be a warning sign of injuries that have yet to present symptoms.
Realizing that repetitive motion injuries can qualify for workers’ compensation can help employees protect their health and quality of life.