Workers' comp provides valuable benefits for any work-related medical condition, and it doesn't have to be a sudden accident for you to be covered. Some injuries are the result of repeated attacks on a particular joint or body part, and it may take some time for the debilitating effects to be obvious. When you consider the repetitive movements that almost any type of job demands, you can understand why repetitive strain injuries are a legitimate workers' comp covered medical condition.
Some common repetitive strain conditions.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The medical condition is considered to have placed this category of injury "on the map". Most everyone has heard of it, and the pain in the hand and wrist area can make doing some work tasks agony for the victims. If you use your hand and wrists repeatedly, such as those who type on a keyboard or do assembly line work, you could be at risk. The tunnel in the condition name is actually a nerve path that gets compressed, causing pain, swelling, tingling, numbness and more. While resting of the joint is the usual fix, repeated use at work can make that impossible to accomplish long enough for the injury to properly heal.
Bursitis: The bursa, present in all joints, can become inflamed and you can often hear your affected joints crackling and crunching. Tenderness and pain will accompany those noises, with your knees and elbows often being affected by this disorder.
Tendinitis: Those who use the long muscles for work, such as those in the legs, can be affected by this disorder that can make the tendons irritated to such a degree that movement can cause sharp pains and problems with mobility.
Getting workers' comp coverage.
There are many different types of repetitive strain injuries. If you find that you can no longer perform your job due to pain, swelling, numbness and more, you may be suffering from a covered condition. Take steps immediately to get workers' comp coverage:
1. Be seen by a doctor right away, and let that doctor know that you suspect you have a potential work-related repetitive strain injury. Be sure to keep all records, follow the doctor's orders to the letter and keep all appointments.
2. Alert your direct supervisor of your injury as soon as you know it is work-related and follow up to ensure that they file a workers' comp claim on your behalf.
3. If you already had a pre-existing condition, don't let that prevent you from filing a claim. You can still earn workers' comp benefits if your job made your pre-existing condition worse.
In most cases, extended periods of resting the affected areas will be necessary, so your benefits should last long enough to cover you during any surgeries or rest periods. If you experience any issue getting or keeping your benefits, speak to a workers' comp attorney like those at Thompson Legal Services right away.