Repetitive stress injuries can prevent a worker from doing the work they normally do or prevent them from ever being able to perform certain tasks again in the future. Knowing how to respond, and treat, repetitive stress injuries is important but also is knowing what resources are available to help injured workers with some of the medical costs and financial losses they experience because of a workplace injury.
Though a workplace may adjust a workstation or reassign tasks to reduce the number of repetitive stress injuries workers suffer, it can be challenging to treat a repetitive stress injury once suffered. If a repetitive stress injury continues and worsen, it can result in disability for the injured worker. According to one doctor, repetitive stress injuries result from overuse. The worker may tear muscle fibers that fatigue because of the repetitive motion and then become unable to recover.
There may be some options to help treat a repetitive stress injury early such as the example of a repetitive stress injury caused by computer use which may be treated with physical therapy, education and changes related to posture and body mechanics or time spent away from the computer. Workers suffering from a repetitive stress injury may be encouraged to take frequent breaks, get the rest they need, engage in stretching exercises and to vary their tasks. Repetitive stress injuries may also be treated with anti-inflammatory medical or heat and cold. Additional medical interventions may sometimes be needed. Building up the body’s muscles may also be one option to consider.
Repetitive stress injuries can leave an injured worker unable to perform their job and potentially without a source of income or facing a reduced income. As a result, any injured worker should be aware of the options available to them through workers’ compensation to help them with the tough times as they face a workplace injury.