Repetitive Stress Injury Is A Common Work Related Injury

Repetitive Stress Injury Is A Common Work Related Injury

Often when people think of an injury that results from repeated use of a body part, they think of medical conditions resulting from sports activities. For instance, overuse of the arm and elbow by an avid tennis player may cause what many refer to as tennis elbow. However, Maryland workers often suffer repetitive stress injuries or conditions that result from simply doing their jobs day after day, for a long period of time.

A repetitive stress condition is not an acute injury where one can pinpoint a trauma that occurred on the job. Rather, is a gradually developing repetitive stress injury, and it may be an injury that is covered under a Workers’ Compensation insurance program. Maryland’s Workers Compensation Commission oversees the WC program and employees can receive medical coverage for treatment and temporary wage replacement where appropriate. Injuries or conditions that result from the recurring stress to a particular body part are known as occupational diseases under Maryland’s program.

With the prevalence of computer use on the job, carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common condition. Keyboarding as well as assembly line occupations are susceptible to causing CTS. The syndrome affects the nerve that goes from the forearm through the carpal tunnel, to the hand. The damage to tendons and ligaments in the wrist become swollen and inflamed from the constant activity inherent in typing or other manipulations required of hands and wrists. This damage compresses that nerve. If not treated and the activity continues on the job, CTS can result in loss of function in addition to serious chronic pain.

Because it is not the result of a traumatic injury but is a gradually developing injury or disease, many workers may be unaware that it may be a compensable health issue that may implicate their workers’ compensation rights.


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