Repetitive Stress Injuries | Workers’ Compensation Claim
You might be surprised that a large number of California workers’ compensation claims involve repetitive stress injuries. These injuries, which are caused by the wear and tear of physical work, can require significant medical treatment as well as cause long-term disabilities. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently deny repetitive stress injury claims, arguing that they aren’t work-related. At the Dewberry Law, we’re here to help.
What Are Repetitive Stress Injuries?
Physical activities, such as repetitive lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, gripping, and grasping, causes wear and tear on your body. Over time, these “micro-trauma” build up and then can cause a repetitive stress injury. Common examples of overuse injuries include the following:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome or median neuropathy
- Cubital tunnel syndrome or ulnar neuropathy
- Degenerative disc disease
- Degenerative joint disease
- Rotator cuff tears
- Tennis elbow or epicondylitis
Sometimes, it takes years for an overuse injury to become apparent. However, they can cause serious functional limitations and therefore result in extensive time off work.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common types of repetitive stress injuries. A series of nerves run through your arm into your hand. One of them, called the median nerve, travels through a narrow tunnel in the wrist.
When you repetitively use your hands, especially for activities like forceful gripping and grasping, it can cause swelling and inflammation in the tendons that run through this tunnel (called the carpal tunnel). This swelling can put pressure on the median nerve — causing tingling, numbness, pain, and other symptoms.
Medical professionals frequently treat carpal tunnel syndrome with rest, splints, or a surgery that gives your tendons and nerve more room (called a “carpal tunnel release”). However, these treatment options aren’t always 100% effective — and you might still notice problems with your hands afterward.
If a medical professional has diagnosed you with carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s in your best interest to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer. Dewberry Law can help you understand your legal rights and help you navigate the workers’ compensation claim as well as appeal processes. Contact us for a free, no-risk assessment today!
Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Arthritis?
Arthritis, degenerative joint disease, and degenerative disc disease can be work-related conditions. Physical work, especially repetitive lifting, bending, twisting, pushing, and pulling, can put stress on the delicate structures that make up your spine, knees, shoulders, ankles, and other joints. Degenerative joint disease and degenerative disc disease can cause the following:
- Meniscal tears
- Bursitis (swelling in a protective structure that cushions some joints)
- Rotator cuff tears
- Herniated and bulging discs
- Bone spurs
As cartilage and other protective tissues wears down, you might subsequently experience pain, limited range of motion, and other symptoms. You might also face expensive and difficult surgeries to help repair your arthritic joints.
Many factors can cause arthritis and degenerative joint disease, including the aging process, genetics, and your hobbies. However, it can also be work-related. If you’re concerned that your work caused your knee, back, shoulder, or other joint pain, discuss these concerns with your doctors. Then, schedule an appointment with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Depending on your circumstances, you might have the right to workers’ comp benefits.
What Is Tendonitis?
Tendonitis is a type of soft tissue injury that occurs when your tendons become inflamed or irritated. Tendons are thick cords of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones. It is common in your hands, elbows, hips, shoulders, and knees.
Sometimes, rest and splinting is all that you need to resolve a tendonitis flare-up. Other times, however, you’ll need steroid injections, physical therapy, or even surgery. If work-related tendonitis is preventing you from working, contact our office today.
How Do I Prove My Overuse or Repetitive Stress Injury Is Work-Related?
While every overuse injury is different, we cannot emphasize enough how much your medical records can impact the strength of your claim. If you’re struggling with overuse or repetitive stress injury, you should seek medical care and tell your doctor about your work activities as well as the onset of your pain.
Next, schedule an appointment with a workers’ compensation lawyer. Insurance companies tend to deny overuse injury claims, arguing that your age, genetics, and weight caused the problem. Depending on your facts, however, a lawyer might be able to prove them wrong.
When you work with a skilled lawyer, they will carefully perform a medical and legal analysis. This involves the following:
- reviewing your medical records,
- evaluating your job duties, and
- assessing other factors that might impact your claim.
Based on this information, they will help you formulate a strategy that maximizes your claim for benefits.
Schedule an Appointment With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’re ready to consult with an experienced California repetitive stress injuries lawyer, call Dewberry Law today. We focus our practice on injured workers, fighting for their right to fair compensation.