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What Is a Repetitive Stress Injury?

What Is a Repetitive Stress Injury?

Have you ever noticed that after a long day of swinging a hammer or pickaxe that your back and arms start to hurt? These are injuries caused by repeated stress. However, you don’t have to do back-breaking work in order to cause a stress injury. In fact over time even small and seemingly innocuous motions can build up and create serious wear and tear on the body, resulting in tremendous pain. These types of injuries are called “repetitive stress injuries” and may take months or years to recover from if someone is even able to recover at all. However, they’re also some of the hardest to diagnose and some of the toughest cases to win.

On our blog, we’ll discuss repetitive stress injuries in greater detail, including some of the difficulties that must be overcome and your rights when you’ve suffered one of these types of injuries on the job.

Common Repetitive Motion Disorders

Also called Repetitive Motion Disorders, or RMDs for short, a repetitive stress injury is a muscular condition caused by too many uninterrupted or repeated motions performed over normal daily or work activities. Most of the time, RMDs occur in upper body areas, including the back, neck, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hands, or even fingers, but can also occur in knees, ankles, feet, hips, and much more. While many people think of things like a bad back from constantly lifting heavy objects, even people who work in “safe” environments are subject to these injuries.

Common RMDs can include things like carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis, ganglion cysts, and even trigger finger. However, just about any condition that affects soft tissues in the body like muscles, nerves, tendons, or ligaments can be considered a repetitive stress injury.

These conditions are particularly debilitating because of the immense amount of pain they can put someone in. What was once a simple, painless motion that someone never once thought about, now suddenly is the source of immense discomfort.

Repetitive Stress Injury Treatment

Treating repetitive stress injuries is much like how one is acquired: a long and continual process, usually requiring an extended period of rest and relaxation to allow the tissue to recover and return to its normal state. However, in extreme conditions some extensive treatment including surgery, cortisone injections, and more. In most cases, repetitive stress doesn’t lead to permanent damage. However, in extreme cases, continual repetitive injuries can result in life-altering injuries.

Difficulties in RMD Cases

Repetitive stress injuries are some of the most difficult cases to win because people who suffer from them often don’t know exactly when they started feeling the effects. These are rarely rapid-onset injuries, and they aren’t the result of an accident that can be identified and an exact time and date—most of the time those who suffer from them don’t get treatment for them until the pain gets so bad they can’t stand it anymore. In many cases, the condition started with a mild discomfort that the person suffering merely shrugged off.

All this means it’s difficult to prove when someone contracted their condition, and this makes it somewhat difficult to prove that the condition was contracted as a result of daily duties. As Waterbury workers’ compensation attorneys, we continually have to fight an uphill battle to present evidence to support our clients and their claims. These conditions are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but many companies often push back, claiming that the condition could come from nearly anything, including activities outside of work.

If you’re suffering from a repetitive stress injury that you’ve sustained as a result of your working conditions or daily duties, contact Fitzpatrick Santos Sousa Perugini, P.C. today at (203) 583-8299 to request a case evaluation.