Repetitive Stress & Strain Injuries in the Workplace

Repetitive Stress Injuries in office workers' compensation.

When you perform the same job function day in and day out over a number of years, you may eventually begin to feel the toll on your body. Minor, repetitive movements that are executed on a frequent basis can add up and leave a worker in serious pain. Suddenly, simple functions like raising your arm or bending over cause discomfort. You need to take some time off to recover, but does workers’ compensation cover an injury that isn’t the result of an isolated incident?

If you suffered a repetitive strain injury at work, you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. At Gerald Brody & Associates, we help workers and professionals who have been injured on the job claim the benefits they’re entitled to every day – even in cases where the injury has developed over time. 

What qualifies as a repetitive stress injury for workers' compensation?

A repetitive stress injury is a cumulative injury that worsens over a prolonged period. There is no single legal definition of what constitutes a repetitive stress injury, simply because there are so many possibilities. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are more than 100 different types of job-related injuries and illnesses that can arise from wear and tear on the body. 

The symptoms of a repetitive stress injury range from mild to severe and usually develop gradually. They often include:

  • Pain, aching, or tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Throbbing
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Weakness
  • Cramping

Who in San Diego is at risk for developing a repetitive stress injury?

Today, repetitive stress injuries make up the largest percentage of workplace injuries. Some of the most common injuries are to the hands and wrists as a result of typing on a keyboard and using a computer mouse: carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, and tendonitis, to name a few. Workers in construction and manufacturing are also at risk of developing a repetitive stress injury from repeated lifting, bending, and using heavy equipment.

Assuming a fixed posture for long periods may also contribute to a repetitive stress injury. Assembly line workers, truck drivers, and retail clerks are all required to sit or stand for prolonged periods. Maintaining a stationary position without breaks can lead to plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and lower back pain, among many other conditions.

Are Stress Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Typically, a workplace injury is associated with a big accident. Falling off a ladder and breaking your arm, or lifting something heavy and rupturing a disc in your back. In these cases, it’s relatively simple to document when the incident occurred, what duty was being performed and gather witnesses who were at the job site when the accident happened. 

With repetitive stress injuries, however, submitting a workers’ compensation claim gets a bit more complicated. Many of these traumas are cumulative, having occurred over weeks, months, or even years. Not to mention, it can be hard to detect a repetitive stress injury in its early stages. Symptoms may not present themselves right away, and by the time a worker tries to collect the benefits he or she is entitled to, it’s too late.

The good news is that workers’ compensation is available to those who suffer from a repetitive stress injury if it’s reported in time. To increase your chances of collecting the benefits you deserve, be sure to file a claim and seek medical care as soon as there is a measurable amount of pain, loss of strength, or tingling or numbness. 

Gerald Brody & Associates are Workers' Compensation Experts 

A repetitive stress injury can make it impossible to perform your job function. If you’re preparing for your workers’ compensation case and are overwhelmed by the complicated process, the professional attorneys at the Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates can help. Call us today to schedule your free initial consultation. Let’s work together to get you the benefits you deserve. Give us a call at (619) 528-9800.