Repetitive Strain Injuries and Work

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on January 20, 2019

Typing on a laptopThe National Safety Council estimates that an American worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. While not all of these injuries are serious or require medical attention, that’s a staggering number nonetheless. This is why the Provo, UT attorneys at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton take worker’s compensation and occupational injury cases so seriously.

The National Safety Council estimates that 34 percent of work injuries are caused by overexertion, which includes repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). Let’s take a moment to discuss these kinds of injuries and how they impact the lives of workers.

About Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs)

Also known as occupational overuse syndrome, overuse injuries, and cumulative trauma, repetitive strain injuries refer to conditions that negatively impact the body as a result of repeated wear and tear. The stress on joints and muscle groups can eventually lead to problems with grip strength, mobility, and sensation/use of a certain part of the body.

Examples of Repetitive Strain Injuries

Some common examples of repetitive strain injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigger finger
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Lower back pain

In each of these cases, the gradual damage done to the joints, tendons, or bones in a given part of the body lead to problems using that body part optimally. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, for instance, you may suffer from pain in the wrists and hands or numbness and tingling along the wrist.

Signs and Symptoms of RSIs

While repetitive strain injuries can vary based on severity and location, they all have a few common signs and symptoms. Be sure to note the following if your job places a great deal of stress on certain parts of your body more than others:

  • Pain
  • Throbbing
  • Tenderness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Loss in strength
  • Changes in flexibility
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Diminished coordination

Workers at Risk for Repetitive Strain Injuries

Certain workers tend to be more at risk for repetitive strain injuries than others. The duties of various jobs can make joint and nerve issues far more likely. Some of these at-risk occupations include:

  • Athletes
  • Construction workers
  • Mechanics
  • Plumbers
  • Assembly line workers
  • Store clerks
  • Nurses
  • Delivery workers
  • Firefighters
  • Agricultural workers
  • Meat processing workers
  • Musicians

What to Do If You Notice Signs of an RSI

If you notice the first signs of a repetitive strain injury, it’s crucial that you visit your doctor as soon as possible. Discuss the nature of your symptoms with your doctor, when they started to show up, and what your job duties entail. Your doctor will be able to offer advice on how to modify your activities to reduce strain on your body, as well as braces or other devices that can help minimize symptoms.

Whatever you do, do not ignore the problem. Allowing a repetitive strain injury to go untreated for a long period of time can make the problem much harder to treat down the road.

Applying for Worker’s Compensation

Sometimes your repetitive strain injury may entitle you to worker’s compensation benefits. Be sure to check with your employer. If you are denied worker’s compensation benefits despite a legitimate injury, our legal team can potentially help you. We can also discuss issues and conditions at your workplace and if actions by your employer might have contributed to the severity of your injury.

Learn More About Work Injury Cases

For more information about your legal options if you have been denied worker’s compensation benefits, be sure to contact our team of work injury lawyers. The attorneys of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are here to help. You can reach our Provo office by calling (801) 753-1616.

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