Overuse Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
While traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, electrocution, and other traumatic injuries make the headlines, overuse injuries—which are also called repetitive strain or overexertion injuries—are the most common type of injuries when it comes to workplace accidents. In fact, overexertion injuries, which include lifting or lowering objects and repetitive motion, account for over 33 percent of all workplace injuries, according to the National Safety Council. The most frustrating thing about an overuse/overexertion injury is that it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause, because, by nature, repetitive motion injuries are a result of doing the same motion over and over again throughout the days, weeks, months, and years of an employee’s job. As such, employers often deny workers’ compensation claims for overuse/overexertion injuries, leaving the employee with doctor’s bills and lost wages.
What is a Repetitive Strain Injury?
Repetitive motion, repetitive strain, repetitive stress, overuse, overexertion—these are all terms used to describe the same type of injury. They are defined by Healthline as “a gradual buildup of damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves from repetitive motions.” This gradual buildup of damage could be caused by sitting at a desk all day long, lifting heavy objects while bending over, using vibrating machinery, kneeling on hard surfaces, hammer or using other high-impact tools, or any other type of moderate to heavy manual labor activities.
Common Types of Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Herniated or bulging disc;
- Trigger finger;
- Tendonitis in the hand, wrist, or fingers;
- Bursitis of the wrist, elbow, knee, or shoulder;
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Tennis elbow, which is also called lateral epicondylitis;
- Carpal tunnel syndrome;
- Ulnar tunnel syndrome;
- Posterior cervical dorsal syndrome; and
- Other forms of back and neck pain.
Treating Repetitive Strain Injuries
Treatment for repetitive strain injuries varies depending on the severity of the injury, the length of time the patient has experienced pain and stiffness, and the location and type of injury that gets diagnosed. Diagnosis is sometimes the most expensive part of treating a repetitive strain injury, as the cost of an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan can exceed $1,000. Treatment for the injury may include:
- Heat and ice;
- Non steroidal pain medications;
- Steroid injections;
- Opioid pain medications;
- Physical therapy;
- Chiropractic treatment; and
Why is My Employer Denying My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Diagnosing repetitive strain injuries can be difficult even for qualified physicians. Moreover, proving that you got the injury from work can be even more challenging. An employer’s insurance carrier may claim that your injury occurred at home or from a hobby as opposed to your line of work. Additionally, repetitive strain injuries affect everyone differently. One patient may be able to effectively treat their tendonitis with Aspirin, while another may require surgery and physical therapy. For these reasons, employers often feel that they can deny repetitive strain injuries and keep their insurance premiums low.
Contact an Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If your workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive strain injury was denied by your employer, you need an Orlando workers’ compensation attorney to intervene. Call the Payer Law, today at 866-930-1238 to schedule a free consultation.