Repetitive-trauma injuries are injuries that arise due to performing the same movements time and time again. For example, if you work in a factory, you might complete a task several times a minute over the course of several hours. Making the same movements over and over again wears down your body, and if you are not careful, the motions can lead to injuries.
Repetitive-motion injuries are common in industries where you perform the same tasks several times a day. For instance, someone who types for hours on end might end up with tendinitis or carpal tunnel. Someone who lifts over their head might have trouble with their shoulders.
How are repetitive injuries treated?
Repetitive-strain injuries are compensable through workers’ compensation, so the first thing to do is to make sure you have a medical exam performed. It’s a good idea to have this exam as soon as the injury begins to bother you. The longer you allow it to continue causing you pain and dysfunction, the more likely it is to be serious.
When should you seek care for a workplace injury?
Some of the common signs that suggest it’s time to see a doctor include:
- Pain that wakes you from your sleep
- Redness or warmth over a joint
- Pain with movement
- Inability to sleep on the injured body part
- Trouble performing daily activities
If you have these symptoms and signs of injury, you can go to a doctor for a diagnosis. The following signs of injury indicate that you should call 911 or go to the hospital:
- Joint pain that migrates
- Joint pain combined with chills, fevers, vomiting or nausea
- Severe joint pain
Why is it important to seek out care early?
When an injury is fresh, there may be more opportunities to help it heal correctly. For example, if a tendon is tearing, reducing your workload and allowing it to heal could prevent you from having to go through surgery. However, if it snaps, you may have only a short time frame during which a surgery is possible. Seeking care right away helps you have a greater number of choices, so you can get the right care to help you get back your strength and to reduce pain.
All repetitive-strain injuries come on over time, but they may suddenly make it difficult to work. Reach out and get medical care if you’re finding it harder to perform your daily tasks.