A repetitive motion injury or a repetitive stress injury is an injury to a ligament, nerve, muscle, tendon, or other structures of the body that occurs from doing the same movement over and over again. The most common form is carpal tunnel syndrome, but others occur in other areas of the body. This type of repetitive motion leads to damage and inflammation of the ligaments and tendons. They become swollen and, initially, they can heal. Over time, this type of injury stops improving and can lead to limited mobility, ongoing pain, and even complex surgical procedures to correct it.
Have You Suffered a Repetitive Injury on the Job?
Individuals who perform the same types of tasks over and over again are at a high risk for development of repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel. This can happen on a factory assembly line, in an office, in a restaurant, or in numerous other positions. When the tasks required of your job require repetitive motion like this, you may suffer health and financial loss from it. This is when it is important to file a work injury claim.
What’s unique about repetitive motion workers’ compensation cases is that they are unlike most workplace injury claims in that they are not a sudden, single event. These types of injuries develop over time. When tasks are performed on a frequent basis, this can cause damage to the body that, in some situations, cannot be fixed. And, as such, they can become workers’ compensation claims. Many people do not realize they have suffered at the hands of their employment and do not know they can file a claim for coverage.
Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Repetitive Motion Injuries in the Workplace?
The increased use of computers in the workplace has increased the number of repetitive motion injuries suffered. Consider these examples of common claims for these types of injuries:
- Computer and keyboard use especially by those working in an office setting
- Bar code scanning, such as that used within retail establishments
- Construction work such as pipe setting, jackhammering and sawing
- Butchering and meat packing
- Assembly line work
- Extensive writing
- Mechanic work
- Medical care providers such as massage therapy
These are just a few examples of those most likely to suffer from workplace-related repetitive stress injuries.
What Types of Damage Can Occur in These Repetitive Motion Injuries?
As noted, carpal tunnel is one of the most common conditions that people develop as a result of repetitive motion. In this condition, the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist to provide nerve communication to the hand becomes inflamed. This leads to the development of pain when carpal tunnel syndrome occurs.
However, there are many types of repetitive motion injuries that can occur as a result of repetitive motion in the workplace. These include:
- Tendinitis, a condition in which the tendons, or bands of tissue that connect the muscle and bones, becomes torn or inflamed.
- Cervical radiculopathy, a condition in which the nerves in the cervical spinal column, or the neck, become damaged due to a compression of the discs there.
- Myofascial damage, a condition that occurs when there is inflammation, swelling, and tenderness developing in muscles usually from overworking them frequently.
- Tenosynovitis, this is a type of irritation that occurs between the tendon itself and the surrounding covering called a sheath.
Any type of injury to your body resulting from performing the same motion over and over again may qualify as a repetitive motion injury.
Why Are Employers Responsible for This Type of Injury in the Workplace?
In the state of New York, workers’ compensation laws protect individuals from suffering loss as a result of an injury occurring as a result of working. Common injuries, such as a cut from a knife or a grease fire burn can seem like obvious types of injuries in which the employer is responsible. Repetitive motion injuries may take time to occur but are the same thing. They occur as a result of workplace activity.
In many cases, improper ergonomics is the cause of the damage. Many guidelines are in place to ensure the workplace is safe from this type of risk. However, employers may wish to speed up productivity, minimize safety precautions, or simply don’t recognize these risks, exposing an individual to injury.
What Can You Do if You Are Suffering from Repetitive Motion Injury?
Remember, you cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim in the state of New York, or inquiring about doing so. Contact Paul Giannetti, Attorney at Law, to discuss your case during a free, no obligation consultation.
We are here to help you. Paul Giannetti, an Albany, New York workers’ compensation lawyer, has extensive experience in repetitive motion injury claims. You can call the office at (866) 868-2960, or reach out online and schedule a free consultation.