Be compensated for repetitive strain injuries that occur as a result of your occupation.
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) describes a category of conditions with gradual onset and worsening symptoms affecting musculoskeletal and nervous systems after repetitive activities. RSIs are also called cumulative trauma disorders and repetitive motion injuries. RSI risk factors include repetitive motion, prolonged fixed or awkward positioning, forceful exertions, vibrations, and mechanical compression.
- Symptoms are present in body parts used most for the activity.
- RSIs are linked to serious conditions affecting the neck, back, shoulders, arms, and hands.
The most common type of RSIs include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- De Quervain’s syndrome
- Ulnar tunnel syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Epicondylitis/Tendinitis/Tendinosis/Tennis elbow/Golfer’s elbow
- Focal dystonia
- Degenerative disc disease
Symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury
Symptoms are typically ignored because of their intermittent nature. Repetitive activity without treatment leads to more frequent and intense symptoms. Symptoms include pulsating pain, tightness, tingling, persistent aches, extremity weakness, numbness and throbbing. These symptoms intensify while risk-inducing tasks are performed and subside during rest. RSI symptoms are preventable and manageable if treatment occurs shortly after onset. The longer the condition persists without treatment, the more it can lead to a serious musculoskeletal or nerve condition.
RSI symptoms are prevalent among laborers. Many occupations require prolonged fixed positions, repetitive lifting, pushing and pulling, and continuous typing. The disturbing link between employment and RSIs led many state agencies to take ergonomics measures to reduce job-related risk factors. Some risky occupations include typist, construction worker, welder, and CNA.
Despite workers being disproportionately affected by RSI, many do not seek proper compensation for injuries. However, many workers in jobs requiring repetitive motion can expect to eventually experience a musculoskeletal or tendon injury that prevents them from working. A 2018 study linked workplace absenteeism to RSI. However, workers are not always aware of their condition’s correlation to job functions. These workers are entitled to compensation from employers if they report the injury within one year of discovering it.
Diagnosing Repetitive Strain Injuries
The initial treatment of RSIs include the use of analgesics, ultrasound therapy, physical therapy, or relaxation. Untreated or delayed treatment of RSIs lead to serious conditions that require years of treatment and/or surgical intervention. Many workers discover RSIs after they have quit, been terminated, or retired. These injuries are eventually detected with MRIs, x-rays, nerve conduction velocity tests, and other clinical testing methods that look for stress fractures, nerve compression, thoracic outlet issues, lumbar disc issues, or other musculoskeletal problems.
Workers who suspect they have an RSI that interferes with or prevents work should consult an attorney concerning their rights. Workers with RSIs may be entitled to temporary disability benefits while they are in treatment, permanent disability benefits for less than full recovery, or supplemental job displacement benefits.