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Hurting on the job: Repetitive strain and its effects

As an employee, it's important for you to know then you're able to obtain compensation for workplace injuries. If you're working day after day at the same job, there is a potential that you could suffer from something called a repetitive strain injury. This injury happens when you do the same movements many times, straining the muscles, ligaments and joints.

Sometimes, repetitive strain injuries require medical attention. For example, if you type for your job, it's possible for you to develop tendinitis or carpal tunnel. Both could require surgery, pain medications or other medical interventions. The good news is that your workers' compensation insurance should cover all your medical needs.

Filing a repetitive injury claim

Filing a repetitive injury claim is important if you're struggling with any injury that is the result of your daily work load. You should let your employer know that you have received medical care for an injury or that you wish to do so. He or she should then help you file a claim with the workers' compensation insurance company.

Your employer may not restrict you from filing a claim. If you struggle to make a claim because of your employer's intervention, then you should speak with your attorney about the next steps to take.

If you are able to file the claim, you'll be able to get the medical attention you need right away. In most cases, workers' compensation approves injuries that happen on the job without a problem. If your claim is denied for some reason, then you may appeal the denial with information about your injury and facts linking it to your workplace.

Recovering from repetitive strain

Once you receive an approval for your claim and are seeking medical attention for your injury, remember that it may require time to heal. If you need time off work, workers' compensation should begin to cover a portion of your lost wages as well, so you can focus on recovering.

For most strain injuries, a good protocol to follow is to rest the area that is overworked, to stretch it gently and to use heat or ice to treat pain. In some cases, medical providers may prescribe you with pain medications or muscle relaxants. Some will order physical therapy to help adjust posture or to address issues with how the body works functionally.

In many cases, these injuries heal on their own with time. With enough rest and time to recover, you can feel better.

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