You work hard to support yourself and provide for your family. If you are like most working adults in North Carolina, you want to do an honest job and receive a fair wage for it. You may even overlook the pains and aches that come with doing the same job for years or several decades.
However, that pain in your forearms or ache in your hips when you leave work every day could be your body warning you that you have pushed yourself too hard. Doing the same work every day for years can take its toll on your body. You may develop a repetitive stress injury.
How repetitive stress injuries occur and affect your work
Every day, for eight hours a day, you answer the phone and type at a computer or grip a steering wheel. Maybe you chop vegetables as a prep cook or stock the shelves at your local grocery store.
While you may be quite good at your job because you have done it for so long, constantly performing the same physical tasks will eventually cause damage to the parts of your body that you use the most. Office workers, for example, are at increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Those who lift all day could injure their arms or their backs.
Any motion that you perform repetitively, especially without good posture or the right ergonomic support, could put you at risk of developing a repetitive stress injury.
You can’t necessarily cure a repetitive stress injury
Those who develop pain symptoms or experience reduced strength and range of motion due to performing the same job tasks for years may require a leave of absence to rest their bodies. In some cases, they may require corrective surgery. Other times, occupational or physical therapy can help reduce the symptoms they experience on the job.
In many cases, however, repetitive stress injuries have permanent medical consequences. An individual may not be able to continue doing the same work without re-injuring themselves. Some people may experience a permanent reduction in their income or earning potential because of a repetitive stress injury. These workers may need permanent partial disability benefits from workers’ compensation.
If you can’t make as much money as you once stood because of long-term medical consequences due to a work injury, workers’ compensation can at least reduce how much income you lose. Knowing the different situations in which people may need workers’ compensation benefits can help you determine if you need to apply for them.