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What Is A Soft Tissue Injury In Relation To Construction?

Construction workers are prone to soft tissue injuries that can have serious consequences. Here’s what a soft tissue injury is and how we can help.

Construction workers put their bodies on the line to make New York City a better place. As part of their daily lives, these hard workers often risk life and limb to get the job done. And while soft tissue injuries are fairly common among construction workers, that doesn’t mean they’re not a big deal.

If you or a loved one is a New York City construction worker, the experienced workers’ comp and personal injury lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers are prepared to fight — and win! — for you. Call us now at 516-342-2200 for a free consultation, or visit us online to schedule your free case evaluation today.

What Is A Soft Tissue Injury?

A soft tissue injury (STI) is any injury that doesn’t directly affect the bones or organs. Soft tissue includes your muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. It can also include damage to nerves or the discs in your spine and back.

As well, you can have a soft tissue injury in conjunction with another injury or a soft tissue injury by itself. Thus, if you were to break a bone, it’s likely that you would experience a soft tissue injury to the surrounding area. For these reasons, soft tissue injuries are among the most common injuries construction workers can experience on the job.

Now, certain soft tissue injuries can be minor, like muscle strain or a sore tendon. Nevertheless, you should always have a doctor examine a soft tissue injury and take time to recover before returning to strenuous activity. By contrast, other soft tissue injuries are serious and may require more invasive treatments like surgery to repair.

Why Are Construction Workers Prone To Soft Tissue Injuries?

Construction workers are regularly at risk for soft tissue injuries due to their physically demanding jobs. Construction workers often lift heavy loads and use heavy tools. It’s not unusual for a construction worker to lift (50) pounds or more several times a day.

To protect workers, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has enacted strict guidelines to prevent soft tissue injuries on construction sites. Here, OSHA recommends tools and precautions like special belts and proper lifting techniques to reduce the risk of soft tissue injury.

Note: Even if an employee carefully follows OSHA guidelines, there’s no guarantee that they will be able to avoid a soft tissue injury. Soft tissue injuries often occur from overuse, and construction workers who work (40) or more hours a week are putting their muscles, ligaments, and tendons through a lot of stress without much time for recovery.

What Are The Most Common Soft Tissue Injuries Construction Workers Experience?

Working in construction puts a lot of strain on the human body through constant physical activity. Construction workers can deal with all types of soft tissue injuries, but these are some of the most common soft tissue injuries that affect construction workers.


Bursitis occurs when fluid-filled sacs called bursa become inflamed. There are bursa in every joint, but the knees and shoulders are most likely to be affected. Pain and swelling can reduce the range of motion and make it difficult to perform everyday tasks. The swelling of bursitis can be the result of repetitively lifting heavy objects.

Herniated Disks

There are small cartilage disks situated between each bone in the spine, held in place by connective tissue. Injury to the neck or back can cause these disks to bulge out, removing the padding and causing spinal bones to rub against each other. Herniated disks can cause chronic, lifelong pain. They can sometimes heal on their own, but they usually require some sort of physical therapy and an extended amount of recovery time.

Muscle Sprains

Muscle sprains and muscle spasms are common soft tissue injuries that usually heal with rest and anti-inflammatory medication. A partial tear of a muscle can repair on its own, but a complete tear might need long term intervention by a healthcare provider. It’s important to rest the injured area to avoid further soft tissue damage.

Pulled Hamstrings Or Tear Of A Ligament

Pulled hamstrings and ligament tears are commonly regarded as sports injuries, but they’re just as likely to happen to people who perform physical labor for work. These injuries are usually the result of overstretching a tendon or ligament, causing it to weaken.

As ligaments and tendons are prone to tears or ruptures when they’re pushed past their limits, it’s important to rest the affected area immediately to avoid further injury. As such, you may require physical therapy or strengthening exercises to help your tendons and ligaments recover.

Tennis Elbow

Despite the name, tennis elbow isn’t an injury specific to tennis players. In fact, construction workers are far more likely than tennis players to develop this painful overuse injury that affects a major tendon in the elbow.

Repetitive motions that involve bending the elbow while lifting weight, like hammering, can cause small tears in the tendon. These tears can lead to severe pain and weakness in the joint. Severe cases of tennis elbow may require surgery.

What Should I Do If I Get A Soft Tissue Injury On The Job?

Many construction workers feel like getting hurt is just part of their job, but this isn’t the truth. New York law requires that construction workers are covered by workers’ compensation insurance because injuries are common and must be taken seriously. Workers’ compensation insurance exists to protect you, and if you or a loved one has been hurt, you can’t afford to take any risks.

Go To The Doctor

If you’ve been injured at work or while in the performance of job-related duties, you need to seek qualified medical treatment immediately. Delaying treatment has the potential to make your injury worse and potentially complicate your claim. To steer you on the best path forward, a doctor can evaluate the extent of your injury and document the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Note: Your doctor may need to write you a note or refer you to another doctor after they’ve provided you with emergency treatment. As well, you may need a workers’ comp board doctor to perform an additional examination. Here, however, your doctor should be able to provide you with relevant information about suitable workers’ comp care providers.

Call A Skilled Lawyer ASAP

If you were injured at work or while in the performance of job-related duties, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation or have the option of filing a personal injury claim.

Here and elsewhere, the experienced legal team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers is available to provide guidance. Call us now at 516-342-2200 for a free consultation, and we’ll be able to discuss your options after reviewing the details of your case. Don’t wait, act now!

File A Claim

In New York State, the majority of workplace injury claims go through the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault system, meaning, even if you are found to be responsible for your injury, you may still be eligible for compensation.

If you’re unsure of how to proceed with your claim, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or schedule your free consultation online today. It will be our honor and privilege to walk you through the process, start to finish. Furthermore, we can help you if your workers’ comp claim is denied or in the event that your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance, as required by New York State law.

What Happens After I File A Claim For A Soft Tissue Injury?

You need time to recover after a soft tissue injury. Your doctor will tell you how much recovery time you need after you’ve been checked out. You may also be prescribed medications to help with your pain or be given at-home care instructions like using ice packs, splints, or the RICE method of elevating the affected area.

Whether through workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim, you should be compensated for your off-time. Moreover, you shouldn’t return to work until you’re medically cleared to do so.

Note: Workers’ compensation can be extended if a doctor feels like you need more time to heal. That said, if there are no desk duties or gentle tasks you can perform on your construction site, it may be a while before you’re given clearance to return to work at full capacity.

We’re Ready To Help You After Your Soft Tissue Injury

The seasoned legal team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers has more than (150) years of combined experiencesuccessfully representing people like you. You helped build the city where we live and work. Allow us to return the favor by helping you in your time of need.

Call us now at 516-342-2200 for a free consultation and so much more. Alternatively, you can visit us online to schedule your free case evaluation.

The sooner you reach out, the faster we’ll be able to get your case on the right track. So, please, don’t leave your future to chance. Protect it today by having Schwartzapfel Lawyers fight for you!

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 516-342-2200 now!


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

Construction Industry | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Bursitis: Types, Treatment & Prevention | Cleveland Clinic

Herniated Disc – Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Treatments | American Association of Neurological Surgeons

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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