When most people think about work-related injuries, they think about injuries that occur as the result of an accident. Most people don’t realize that cumulative trauma injuries can be just as serious, and there are many that fall under this category.
Cumulative trauma injuries can affect just about any area of the body. Tendonitis, carpal tunnel symptom, back pain and similar issues can all be caused by having to perform the same motions at work repeatedly.
The appearance of cumulative trauma injuries
Unlike injuries that stem from a sudden accident, cumulative trauma injuries usually occur slowly. Often involving hands, wrists, shoulders and arms, these injuries arise from small, barely noticed events that happen over time. This means that some people won’t notice the signs of a problem and may end up with more damage than they would have had to deal with if they had caught the symptoms earlier. They may also continue to injure themselves by repeatedly using the affected body part despite the hidden damage.
Many cumulative trauma injuries start off with mild discomfort or a reduction in the range of motion of the affected body part. This may go away if you get rest, which is usually possible on your days off work. As time goes on and the injury gets worse, you may not get relief on your days off.
If you think that you have a cumulative trauma injury, getting medical care is necessary. Some of these injuries can lead to permanent problems. Nerve damage is even possible. If the damage gets too bad, surgery might be necessary.
Your right to workers’ compensation
Cumulative trauma injuries that occur on the job are covered under workers’ compensation. Filing a claim can help you to get the medical care you need. It may also provide you with other benefits, such as partial wage replacement. Some workers have to file an appeal because they aren’t approved for the benefits they’re due so be sure you closely review the benefits to ensure you get what you should.