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Back May 25, 2020

Medical Treatment for Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs)

Matthews Workers Comp Attorney

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are serious, painful injuries that are slow to heal and are common to the workplace. While you may think of injuries on the job as being dramatic events that leave employees seriously injured in the blink of an eye, slow-building injuries like RSIs are far more common. If you’ve suffered an RSI as a result of your work, consult with an experienced Matthews workers’ compensation lawyer today.

RSIs

Repetitive stress injuries are closely associated with using the same physical motions to perform the same tasks over and over again. While your thoughts may immediately go to factory work or construction work, office workers are just as likely – if not more likely – to be afflicted. As office jobs become more and more sedentary and more focused on incessant typing at a computer screen, repetitive stress injuries are on the rise. RSIs generally involve a physical motion that wouldn’t typically be dangerous to one’s health but that over time and with near-constant engagement becomes a serious physical issue.

Jobs Commonly Associated with RSIs

While nearly any kind of work can lead to an RSI, there are specific kinds of work that are most closely associated with the injuries. These include:

 

  1. People with desk jobs that involve intensive computer work
  2. Typists, clerks, and data-entry professionals
  3. Assembly line workers
  4. Medical professionals like nurses, doctors, dentists, and surgeons
  5. Construction and road-maintenance workers
  6. Heavy machine operators
  7. Musicians
  8. Drivers

 

No matter your job, if you sit or stand and engage in nearly the same motion repeatedly throughout the day, it can lead to a serious RSI.

Associated Facts

Medical News Today shares some important facts related to RSIs, including:

  • Modern technology, including handheld devices, has exacerbated the issue and caused an uptick in RSI cases.
  • Improving practices in the workplace can help prevent RSIs in the first place.
  • Engaging in repetitive motion in one area of your body can significantly affect muscles in another area.

Treating RSIs

According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment for RSIs varies greatly according to the location of the problem, the severity of the injury, and the patient’s overall health and age. Treatment typically progresses in the following stages:

 

  • Medication – Medication can help reduce both swelling and pain. When the injury is serious, prescription pain medications may be prescribed.
  • Physical Therapy – A physical therapist can help guide you in specific exercises and treatment protocols that are intended to treat your unique RSI. Further, if you do need surgery, your physical therapist will work with you to help ensure that your rehabilitation progresses apace. You can likely also benefit from having your therapist evaluate your workspace in relation to its ergonomic design and to suggest tweaks to help reduce your risk.
  • Surgery – If your RSI is serious, it may require surgery that is designed to relieve the pressure on the affected nerve in order for you to reach your fullest recovery.

 

Possible Damages

If you’ve acquired an RSI on the job, you can suffer significant damages as a consequence. Such damages often include:

  • Medical Expenses – The medical expenses associated with a serious RSI tend to include ongoing medical treatment from doctors, specialists, and therapists; physical and occupational therapy; prescription medications; adaptive physical devices; and more.
  • Lost Wages – A serious RSI can leave you out of work for a significant amount of time. RSIs are painful injuries that can be slow to heal, and that can prevent you from returning to the kind of work you’ve built your career doing. Further, if you do need surgery, you can expect the recovery process to be long and laborious and to preclude you from returning to work anytime soon. If you’ve suffered a serious RSI, you could face a diminished earning potential and even an altered career trajectory.

 

If You Might Have an RSI

If you’ve suffered an RSI on the job, it’s important to be proactive, but how do you know if you have an RSI in the first place. Classic RSI symptoms include:

  • Pain in the affected area that can range from mild tenderness all the way to a dull ache or throbbing, acute pain
  • Tingling in the affected area
  • Numbness in the affected area
  • Loss of coordination or overall strength in the affected area
  • A reduced range of motion in the affected area (and possibly beyond)

Because repetitive stress injuries tend to come on slowly as damage accrues, you may be slow to pinpoint the problem. Further, the associated pain is likely to be intermittent, and you may experience it only when you engage in a specific motion. Without proper treatment, however, the RSI can become a chronic issue in which the pain and discomfort are constant. Remember that early diagnosis is closely associated with improved prognosis, so don’t delay seeking the medical attention you need.

Protecting Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

You’ve developed an injury as a result of your job, and you may assume that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will step up to the plate and reimburse you for your covered losses, but often, it isn’t that simple. Workers’ comp insurance companies are in the business of turning massive profits, and part of their business plan is denying and minimizing claims by whatever means they can get away with. There are, however, some things you can do to help protect your rights and bolster your claim, including:

  • Inform your boss or supervisor as soon as you obtain your diagnosis of an RSI.
  • Follow your doctor and your physical therapist’s advice carefully – this is the best path forward regarding your health and also sends a clear message to the insurance company that you take your injury as seriously as you want them to.
  • Work closely with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

 

Consult with an Experienced Matthews Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

If you’ve suffered an RSI on the job, the dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers at Panchenko Law Firm in Matthews, North Carolina, are committed to fighting for the compensation to which you are entitled. We care about your case, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (704) 900-7675 to learn more about how we can help today.

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