Repetitive Stress Injuries for Workers’ Compensation

Many believe workers’ compensation only covers work-related injuries like hurting your back while lifting a heavy object, slipping and falling on a wet floor or breaking an arm. While all of these injuries may be covered by workers’ compensation, there are other injuries that are just as common that could be covered.

A large portion of work-related injuries are in fact developed over time from the repetition of movements or postures on the job. Is a carpal tunnel workplace injury or tennis elbow covered under workers’ compensation? The answer might surprise you.

Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania

Nearly every Pennsylvania worker is covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act. Under the law, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for all of their employees, including seasonal and part-time workers.

You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if your work causes injury, illness or disease. However, workers’ compensation does not cover all work-related injuries. Typically, workers’ compensation does not cover injuries if it was intentionally self-inflicted or is caused by an employee’s violation of law. This will include, but is not limited to, the illegal use of drugs or violating a positive work order.

Comprehending a Repetitive Stress Injury

A repetitive stress injury, or RSI, is a gradual build-up of damage of the muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons from overuse. Repetitive stress injuries can be caused by many different types of activities. The most common include:

  • Use of a computer mouse
  • Typing
  • Grasping tools
  • Assembly line work
  • Sports training

Almost every industry poses a high risk for RSIs.

Common Repetitive Stress Injuries

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Have you ever experienced a tingling or burning feeling in your thumb, index and middle fingers? That feeling could possibly be carpal tunnel. Roughly three to six percent of adults in the United States will be diagnosed with this. As one of the most common RSIs, carpal tunnel syndrome is a direct result of pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. It is often caused by constant typing and the movement of a computer mouse and can cause trouble in forming a fist or grabbing objects.

Lateral Epicondylitis: Better known as tennis elbow, is often caused by repetitive elbow and arm motions. The pain typically occurs on the outside of the elbow and can sometimes appear in the forearm and wrist. If not treated properly, it could lead to further damage of both the tendons and muscles.

Tendinitis: As another common RSI, tendinitis is often caused by repetitive motions required by your job. Simply, this occurs when the tendons in the joints become inflamed, often in the wrists, arms, fingers, knees and ankles. We often see tendinitis in nurses, nursing home employees, assembly line workers, construction workers and office and clerical workers.

Get the Help You Need

Just like any other work-related injury, you should notify your employer once you start experiencing any type of pain and seek medical attention. We understand suffering from a work-related RSI is different from a more violent injury, as you might not know the first day it started. However, it is vital for your workers’ compensation’s case to notify your employer within 120 days of realizing your RSI pain.

In Pennsylvania, if your employer has a panel physicians list, you are required to receive medical treatment for the first 90 days from a physician on that list. After the first 90 days, you are allowed to be treated by a doctor of your choice.

At KBG Injury Law, we understand how any type of injury can play a role in your work life and personal life. Often, dealing with workers’ compensation can be challenging and result in an initial denial. That’s when our attorneys can help.

Contact us today if you or a loved one has experienced a work-related injury and were denied workers’ compensation. We will fight to get the Results You Deserve®.