Work Injury | Repetitive Strain Injury

Workers’ Compensation covers any injuries that are sustained while on the job, leaving the job, or going to the job. In addition to this, workers’ compensation also covers any injuries that occur because of repetitive motion on the job.

In fact, According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive motion injuries are the nations most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation.

Each worker compensation claim for repetitive stress injuries can cost up to $20,000 – $100,000. (Consumer Watch Report, PC World)

Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive Motion Work Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries, repetitive strain injury (RSI) (also known as repetitive stress injury, repetitive motion disorder (RMD), cumulative trauma disorder (CT), occupational overuse syndrome, overuse syndrome, regional musculoskeletal disorder) is an injury of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression (pressing against hard surfaces), sustained, or awkward positions.

Many occupations require a worker to perform the same motion dozens, hundreds or thousands of times each month.

These repetitive motions often result in a cumulative type trauma. This is also known as a Gillette injury and is fully compensable as a work comp injury. The onset of this type of injury is often gradual. One common example of such an injury is carpal tunnel syndrome.

Untreated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Presently, the costs to businesses that employ workers at high risk to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other Repetitive Stress Injuries is staggering. It is estimated that RSI “costs employers over $80 billion yearly.” According to the National Council of Compensation Insurance, the average compensation of a CTS victim is $33,000.00.

There are many factors that affect the development of repetitive motion, cumulative trauma, or Gillette-type injuries:

  • Repetitive motion: when a task is repeated frequently it can cause strains and fatigue in muscles, joints and tendons.
  • Forceful exertion: tasks that require force place a higher load or stress on muscles, tendons and joints.
  • Awkward posture/position: poor posture while performing a task, especially a repetitive task, puts strain on joints and muscles.
  • Duration: tasks that require the use of the same muscles for long periods of time can cause fatigue in those muscles and make them susceptible to injury.
  • Compression: pressing body parts on hard or sharp surfaces causes a decrease in blood flow to the muscles, tendons and nerves in that area. This can cause symptoms of tingling, numbness and change in sensation, and lead to tissue damage in that area.
  • Vibration: activities involving vibration put stress on individual parts or the whole body.
  • Poor physical health: conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Raynaud’s, arthritis, smoking, alcoholism, gout, hypertension, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, stress and job dissatisfaction can increase the chance of developing a repetitive motion injury.

If you are suffering from a work injury, contact a St Paul MN Chiropractor today!