The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C.

Understanding North Carolina repetitive stress injuries


For workers in North Carolina, certain jobs make it necessary to perform the same movements over and over again. This can lead to various physical maladies that can render them unable to work or make work painful and difficult. These are known as repetitive stress injuries and they can justify a worker applying for workers' compensation benefits. It is imperative for an injured worker to understand the objective facts about these injuries before moving forward with a filing.

These injuries result from repeating the same motions while working. Examples of them are carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, bursitis, tendonitis and numerous others. They can happen when the same motion is done repeatedly and uninterruptedly. If the movements are awkward and involve the joints, this too can result in repetitive motion injuries. It is not just the joints, though. It can involve the neck and back as well. Symptoms might be pain, numbness, tingling in the area, swelling and redness. Strength and flexibility might be diminished. For many, there are not any symptoms other than greater difficulty performing the same tasks they have been doing on a regular basis.

Permanent damage can result from these injuries and it can affect the ligaments, tendons, nerves and muscles. These most frequently affect people who are working in industrial jobs, working on an assembly line, who do fine work such as sewing, play sports, work on computers, and play a musical instrument. Any physical job can result in repetitive stress injuries. The problem many people face when seeking treatment is that the recommendation is often that they should stop doing the motions that are causing the problem. But, if it is their job and they do not know what else they can do to earn money, they find themselves trapped in a box.

Pain medication, ice, heat, painkilling shots, stretching techniques and certain wraps or splints can provide some comfort, but it is unlikely the problem will stop until the work is stopped. In certain cases, employers will allow a worker to take more time to do his or her job or will give them a different job entirely. If this does not happen, the worker might have no choice but to file for workers' compensation benefits with the assistance of a qualified legal professional.

Source: Ninds.nih.gov, "NINDS Repetitive Motion Disorders Information Page," accessed on Nov. 2, 2014

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