Soft-Tissue Damage Caused by Long-Term Repetitive Stress
Soft tissues are among the most vulnerable to long-term injuries that develop slowly and can manifest years after a worker has left a job. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI’s) affect millions of Americans who perform the same tasks day in, and day out as they perform their jobs.
RSI’s occur most commonly in “blue collar” jobs such as manufacturing or construction, however, can impact “white collar” workers whose tasks include filing, typing, etc. In fact, white collar workers who sit at desks typing all day are among the fastest growing demographic of workers seeking the assistance of Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers in pursuing claims for their injuries.
“Many workers perform physical, strenuous overuse type activities with their hands and arms which leads to soft-tissue, inflammatory injuries. If the repetitive work contributes to the injuries, these should be reported to the employer and covered under workers’ compensation in Illinois. Even if the injuries don’t require surgery, the employer is still responsible to pay for any soft-tissue repetitive stress injuries which occur at work,” commented Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer Phil Bareck.
Common symptoms that can indicate long-term soft-tissue damage and the presence of RSI’s include tremors and clumsiness, numbness, burning, aching, or shooting pains. These are often accompanied by fatigue and a noticeable lack of strength. These injuries can make opening doors, cutting fruits and vegetables, or even turning on a water tap difficult tasks to complete.
Many of these symptoms indicate damage to the nerves that course through muscle tissue. This makes them difficult to treat and slow to heal. As such, it is important that workers seek treatment as soon as they believe they are suffering soft-tissue damage because of their job. Treating RSI’s early is the most effective way to ensure that damage that has been done doesn’t become permanent. The longer an RSI goes untreated, the more likely it becomes that a worker will develop chronic pain syndrome and require more extensive, and potentially lifelong treatment for their injury.