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3 common types of repetitive stress injuries

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

If your job requires you to perform the same motions over and over again, you could be at risk for a repetitive stress injury. Also known by names such as overuse syndrome, repetitive motion injuries and cumulative trauma disorder, repetitive stress injuries have been around much longer than many people realize. According to Medical News Today, an Italian physician first studied them and recorded their effects at the beginning of the 18th century.

Many people associate repetitive stress injuries with clerical work. However, they also occur due to manual labor. Risk factors include working with heavy loads or vibrating equipment, especially in cold environments. Depending on where you work and the kind of job you do, you could be at risk for the following repetitive stress injuries.

1. Epicondylitis

Repetitive flexion or extension of your wrist can irritate the tendon that controls the motion at its insertion point above the elbow. The resulting inflammation and pain is medial epicondylitis if it occurs on the inside of the elbow or lateral epicondylitis if it occurs on the outside.

2. Bursitis

A bursa is a naturally occurring sac of fluid in a joint such as the elbow, knee, hip or shoulder that helps your bones slide past one another without friction. The repetitive motion of the joint can cause the fluid sac to become irritated, resulting in a painful condition called bursitis.

3. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Inflammation and swelling of the tissues of the wrist can put pressure on the median nerve. This causes numbness, tingling and weakness of your hand, particularly the first three fingers.

There is a misconception that you cannot receive workers’ compensation for repetitive stress injuries. If they arise from work, they are compensable. However, it can be harder to demonstrate that an RSI arises from your job, which means you may be more likely to see an initial denial of your claim.