Repetitive Motion Injuries
Work injuries do not always happen in the blink of eye. Sometimes they occur over the course of days, weeks, months, or even years. When workers perform the same physical movement over and over and over, they put significant strain on their body. When the body can no longer tolerate that strain, a repetitive motion injury is the result. These types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. Our work injury attorneys can help you seek medical treatment and financial compensation.
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Types of Repetitive Motion Injuries
There are several types of repetitive motion disorders affecting different structures throughout the body. The most widely known repetitive motion disorder is likely carpal tunnel syndrome. Others, such as epicondylitis, may be lesser known. These types of cases are eligible for workers’ compensation claims if they result from work duties that involve repetitive motions.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused when pressure is exerted on the median nerve in the forearm. This can occur due to repetitive motions including typing, using power tools, dealing cards in a casino, playing piano, or any work activity that overextends the wrist. Symptoms of CTS include pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand and arm. Treatment for CTS include ergonomics, immobilization of the wrist, steroids and anti-inflammatory medications.
Tendonitis is the result of inflamed or irritated tendons, tissue that attaches muscles to bones, after overuse. Tendonitis is a common sports injury. Tendonitis can affect any tendon in the body, with the most common areas including the shoulder, thumb, elbow, hip, knee, and heel. Symptoms include pain, a grating sensation, swelling, and reduced movement. Treatment typically involves rest, icing the affected areas, anti-inflammatory medication, compression, and immobilization.
Tendonosis has many symptoms in common with tendonitis, but differs in how the injury occurs and appears. Tendonosis occurs due to microtears and degeneration of the tendon, not inflammation. Tendonosis is treated with physical therapy and, in severe cases, surgery.
Tenosynovitis is also very similar to tendonitis, but instead of inflamed tendons, it’s the tendon sheath that connects into muscle that has become inflamed. When compared to tendonitis, tenosynovitis has very similar causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Bursitis also has similar causes, symptoms, and treatment as tendonitis. But with bursitis, the bursa is inflamed. Bursa is a sac filled with fluid that serves as a cushion between bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin.
Epicondylitis is an inflammation of an epicondyle, a rounded area above the bone where tendons and ligaments connect to the bone. Epicondylitis is often associated with repetitive motion sports injuries, such as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. As it’s another inflammation injury, it is also treated similarly to tendonitis, with rest, ice, compression, and anti-inflammation drugs.
Reporting Repetitive Motion Injuries
It’s important to notify your employer immediately if you are experiencing pain or discomfort when performing tasks you routinely perform. After the pain and discomfort is reported, you should see a doctor for a diagnosis. Once the repetitive motion injury is reported, the injury would be treated the same as any other workplace injury. If your company requires you to submit a specific form reporting your injury, be sure to keep a copy of the form for yourself.
Opening a Repetitive Motion Injury Claim
The claims process for repetitive motion injuries is the same as for any other work injury. You will need to fill out a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC-1) & Notice of Potential Eligibility form and submit it to your employer. Only fill out the sections designated for employees and be sure to be as accurate and detailed as possible. Remember to keep a copy of the DWC-1 for yourself.
When your employer receives your DWC-1, they will complete their portion of the form and submit your workers’ compensation claim. If you don’t receive a copy of the completed DWC-1, be sure to request it from your employer. When the workers’ compensation insurance claim is submitted, you will be allowed to seek appropriate medical treatment for up to $10,000. You will receive a notification as to whether or not your claim was accepted or rejected. If accepted, you’ll continue to treat your injury. If rejected, you will need to go through the workers’ compensation appeals process.
Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help
Work comp claims for repetitive motion injuries face more hurdles than claims for other work injuries. Insurance companies may argue that the injuries are minor or that they did not occur because of work activities. An experienced workers’ compensation law firm can help you file a successful claim and fight unjust claim denials. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help workers who have developed repetitive motion injuries seek