What are Repetitive Stress Injuries?

March 15, 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2015, 31 percent of all days-off-from-work cases were due to musculoskeletal disorders such as strains and sprains from overexertion. Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) fall under this category. Jobs that require employees to sit or stand for long periods of time in the same position or repeatedly execute the same tasks over and over again can elevate the risk for developing RSI.

These types of injuries often develop gradually, leaving workers in the dark as to what is actually happening with their bodies. As a consequence, they don’t seek diagnosis or treatment until the condition has reached a critical level. RSIs can result in a significant amount of pain and prevent a worker from performing routine responsibilities and tasks both at home and on the job.

Typical RSIs developed in the workplace

A common type of RSI that many are familiar with is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). However, there are many other types of these injuries people can develop in different areas of the body. Other common types of RSIs experienced by workers include:

  • Radial tunnel syndrome
  • Writer’s cramp (dystonia)
  • Bursitis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Nerve entrapment disorders
  • ACL or MCL related knee injuries
  • Trigger finger
  • Ulnar tunnel syndrome
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Ganglion
  • Tendinitis
  • Blackberry thumb (DeQuervain’s syndrome)
  • Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

Causes of Repetitive stress injuries

Excessive overuse of particular muscles in the body can lead to repetitive stress injuries for workers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. This is particularly true when the body is not matched well for a certain job task. Muscles and tendons can wear over time due to excessive strain. This often occurs when a person is required to position themselves in an unnatural position for lengthy periods of time, such as leaning or stretching the arms and legs, etc. These repetitive actions can create micro damage in the structures of the body, eventually leading to RSI.

Other activities that can contribute to the development of RSIs include:

  • Using poorly designed equipment
  • Using equipment that vibrates
  • Performing a repetitive task
  • Failing to take sufficient breaks to let the muscles rest
  • Lifting heavy items, or lifting awkwardly shaped items
  • Functioning with an awkward posture
  • Remaining in a static position for an excessive length of time (i.e., standing, sitting, leaning, etc.)
  • Performing movements that require exceptional force or pressure
  • Functioning in a poorly organized or ergonomically unfit setting

Workers in in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania are entitled to receive workers comp benefits when they develop particular medical or health conditions as a result of their work duties. These benefits include:

Income replacement

You will qualify for income replacement benefits if you have been forced to miss work due to your injury, become partially disabled, or forced to take a lower paying job. The amount of replacement income typically equates to 60 to 75 percent of your wages prior to injury, with a number of dependents you have also affecting the amount.

Medical benefits

Workers’ comp insurance should cover a wide range of medical expenses you incur, including surgeries, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, treatments, follow-ups, prescriptions, and rehabilitation.

A repetitive stress injury can be devastating and challenging. If you have sustained one of these injuries during the course of your employment, it is important to have an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney on your side. At Larry Pitt & Associates, we have the resources and experience to help you obtain the benefits you deserve. We fight for clients throughout several Counties in eastern Pennsylvania, including Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia. Call us today at 888.PITT.LAW or fill out our contact form to arrange a free consultation.

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