Repetitive motion injuries happen to thousands of people every day, and many of them are not even aware that it’s happening. Many people think that those types of injuries only happen to construction workers or mechanics – people who lift heavy things and wear out their bodies. But the truth is, repetitive motion injuries can happen to anyone who uses any part of their body in a repetitive manner over time. This means that people who sit every day for long periods of time, type or manipulate computer data, or perform activities such as checking out groceries can be susceptible to repetitive motion injuries.
If you have developed a repetitive motion injury as a result of doing your job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Repetitive motion injuries can end up being debilitating and even life changing. It’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Talk to an experienced New York repetitive motion attorney today to find out what your rights are.
Types Of Work That Can Lead to Repetitive Motion Injuries
As we said before, repetitive motion injuries don’t just happen to construction workers and mechanics. Repetitive motion injuries can happen to just about any type of worker who performs repetitive motions on an ongoing, long-term basis. Work-related activities that can lead to repetitive motion injuries include:
- computer work such as data entry
- assembly line work
- polishing, sanding, and painting
- pipe setting
- repetitive hammering or jackhammering
- overhead work such as painting or electrical work
- meat packing or butchering
- sawing and cutting building materials
- stocking shelves and packing boxes or bags
- playing musical instruments
Work-related repetitive motion injuries are frequently caused by long-term computer and keyboard use. Additionally any occupation in which employees are required to sit or stand for long periods of time, or to grip, grasp or hold a position for an extended period of time can cause repetitive motion injuries.
Types Of Repetitive Motion Injuries
Health care professionals divide repetitive motion injuries into two types:
- Type 1 refers to repetitive injuries caused by repetitive tasks which are characterized by swelling of the muscles and tendons. Examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and tenosynovitis.
- Type 2 refers to repetitive injuries in which there is a feeling of pain, but no obvious swelling or inflammation. These types of injuries are also associated with non-specific pain syndrome.
Common examples of repetitive motion injuries include:
- Bursitis – inflammation of the bursa, a sac-like structure that provides cushion between bones, tendons, joints and muscles.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – caused by compression of the median nerve of the wrist, restricting blood flow to the fingers, causing numbness and pain.
- Epicondylitis – can also be known as tennis or golfer’s elbow; results from overuse of the muscles and tendons where the bone and tendons attach.
- Ganglion – firm or jelly-like cysts that develop on top of the joints or tendons of the wrists, hands and feet.
- Rotator Cuff Syndrome – inflammation of the muscles and tendons in the shoulder joint.
- Tendonitis – inflammation of a tendon.
- Tenosynovitis – inflammation of the sheath surrounding the tendon.
- Nerve Entrapment Disorders – pressure on the median nerve in locations other than the wrist, caused by repeated pounding and use of tools requiring a strong grip.
- Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome – like carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by compression in the ulnar nerve of the wrist, affecting the ring and pinky fingers.
Symptoms Of Repetitive Motion Injuries
It is important to understand the warning signs of repetitive motion injuries in order to stop the damage and seek treatment. Typical symptoms of repetitive motion injuries can be:
- Muscle or joint tenderness
- Muscle or joint pain
- Throbbing or pulsing in the affecting area
- A feeling of pins and needles in the affected area, especially the upper limbs
- Sensation loss in the affected area
- Strength loss in the affected area
- Marked weakness in the affected limbs
Early detection and treatment are key to reducing the effects of the injury.
Reducing Your Risk For Repetitive Motion Injuries
Regardless of whether you think you may be injuring your body at work, if you do the same thing with your body day after day, including sitting, you may be silently wearing out your body. Here are a few tips for reducing your risk of developing or exacerbating a repetitive motion injury:
- Use good posture.
- Take frequent stretch breaks.
- Make sure your workspace is ergonomically designed.
- Avoid gripping tools, including pens and pencils too tightly.
- Use the computer only as much as you have to.
Understanding Your Rights
If you have injured yourself while working, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. It’s important to make your claim as soon as possible. Sometimes the legal issues surrounding workers’ compensation claims can be tricky, so it’s a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable repetitive motion injury attorney at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. to help you with your claim. Contact us today at 1-888-575-6410 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!