Stress and excess strain caused by performing repetitive tasks can take a toll on your body. Overusing muscles and tendons can create micro-damage that, over time, can lead to debilitating pain, costly medical bills and extended time away from work. When this type of injury occurs as part of your job duties, workers’ compensation may help pay for expenses until you can return to work. We often help Massachusetts workers get the financial support and medical care they need.
According to MaineHealth, repetitive strain injuries can affect the back, hips and knees as well as the arms, hands and shoulders. Although carpal tunnel syndrome is among the most common RSI, especially among office workers, chronic pain in the back afflicts a broad range of people, from factory and construction workers to truck drivers and office administrators.
A variety of factors contribute to cumulative trauma disorders. They typically develop gradually, so you may not realize there is an issue. Common causes include:
- Muscle fatigue
- Repeated, awkward motions that can consist of overexertion or twisting
- Ongoing, uninterrupted, repetitious movement
- Poor posture
- Operating vibrating equipment (including driving a big rig or using construction equipment)
- Using poorly designed equipment
When left untreated, RSI can prevent you from continuing your job duties, or even completing simple tasks, such as brushing your hair or driving. At first, you may think the stiffness in your back is due to age, or possibly that yesterday was a really long day, and you dismiss it. However, over the following weeks or months, the stiffness becomes an ache. You may think you just need to stretch more because your back is cramping or feels tender.
These are all symptoms of cumulative trauma. As the pain and symptoms increase, you may become unable to work. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is time-consuming and complex. If you receive a claim denial letter, you could be paying for medical expenses out of pocket while working on an appeal. Experienced professionals can help you navigate the process and get the help you need.