Not all work-related injuries result from a single traumatic accident in the workplace. Some result from the cumulative stress of day-to-day work activities. While such injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation, it can sometimes be difficult to prove that the injury arose from one’s job.
Workers in all sorts of professions are susceptible to repetitive stress injuries of the upper extremity. These include people who work desk jobs as well as those who perform manual labor. There are many RSI that can affect the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. Here are a couple of those that tend to arise most often from work.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, carpal tunnel syndrome can occur when a person has to hold his or her wrist in the same position for a prolonged period of time. This is especially true if the position is one at the extremes of range of motion, either flexion or extension. Jobs that require a worker to repeat the same motions of the wrist and hand over and over also put one at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. There may be other underlying risk factors that put one at greater risk, but if the main aggravation was one’s job, one should be able to collect workers’ compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Lateral epicondylitis affects the tendons along the outside of the elbow. Many people know it by the colloquial name of tennis elbow, but as the Mayo Clinic explains, a number of manual laborers are at risk for lateral epicondylitis from their jobs. These include butchers, carpenters, painters and plumbers. However, lateral epicondylitis also occurs often in people who make frequent use of the computer mouse. Therefore, people who work desk jobs are also at risk.