If you work in a physically demanding job, then you’re at an increased risk of being injured at work. Yet, a lot of people who operate in these professions tend to brush off what they think are minor injuries, chalking it up to normal wear and tear on their bodies. But repetitive stress injuries — damage that’s caused to your muscles, tendons, and nerves from repetitive motion and constant use — can end up knocking you out of work and leaving you with extensive medical needs. This can result in a financial predicament that can be difficult to overcome.
If you work in a profession that is hard-hit by repetitive stress injuries, such as construction, agriculture, health care, or warehousing, then you should learn more about these kinds of injuries and what you can do to protect your physical health and financial interests.
What are the symptoms of a repetitive stress injury?
Repetitive stress injuries are pretty common, which means that some of the symptoms may not cause you to immediately think that you’ve been serious injured. But you need to pay attention to these symptoms and seek out medical attention if you’re experiencing them:
- Swelling in the affected area
- A tingling sensation
- Weakness in specific part of your body
- Joint stiffness
- A numbing sensation
- Heat and cold sensitivity
If you experience any of these symptoms, then you could end up having a serious repetitive stress injury, such as a herniated disk, nerve compression, ganglion, tendonitis, a stress fracture, or bursitis. But in order to receive this diagnosis, which may be key to a workers’ compensation claim, you need to seek out medical attention right away when you start experiencing the symptoms mentioned above. Do your best to keep notes, too, about when you started feeling your symptoms and what you were doing at the time of their onset.
Repetitive stress injuries and workers’ compensation benefits
If you’ve suffered a repetitive stress injury, then you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you can successfully pursue one of these claims, then you can recover benefits to help offset lost wages due to missed work and out-of-pocket medical expenses. However, in order to successfully obtain these benefits, you’re going to have to demonstrate that your injury was either caused by your job, or it was exacerbated at work.
How do you do that? To start, make sure that you’re seeking medical treatment as shortly after your symptoms present as possible. This will help minimize the timeframe during which your injury was suffered. Also, make sure that you’re being open and honest with your doctor. Let him or her know the kind of work that you perform, being as detailed as possible. Your doctor may then give you an opinion that can be helpful during the claims process. Also, try to avoid doing anything strenuous at home that an insurance company could then try to tie to your injury.
Competently and confidently navigate your claim
Workers’ compensation benefits for repetitive stress injuries can be expensive for insurance companies. That’s why they oftentimes aggressively fight these types of claims. But by putting in some leg work and knowing the law, you can better position yourself for succeeding on your claim or successfully appealing a claim denial. If you want to know more about what that entails, then we encourage you to discuss your unique set of circumstances with a legal team that knows how to appropriately navigate these kinds of cases.