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What is a repetitive stress injury?

Repetitive stress injuries can cause serious harm and time away from work but injured workers may wonder exactly what the term refers to and what they can do about it if injured. Repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and bursitis and can make it difficult for the sufferer to work.

Tendonitis is the most common repetitive strain injury and is caused by an inflammation of the tendons. Tendons connect muscle to bones and can be inflamed or injured as a result of repetitive movements. Tendonitis and other repetitive stress injuries can be both debilitating and painful. Pain is one common symptom of a repetitive stress injury but others include swelling, stiffness, weakness, tingling, numbness and sensitivity to cold or heat.

Workers who are suffering from pain and a loss of function due to a repetitive stress injury should seek medical care and treatment of their injury. They can also potentially modify their work activity so as not to further exacerbate their injury or to prevent further injury. A variety of different types of working conditions can lead to repetitive stress injuries including computer use or prolonged exposure to cold or vibration which can place construction workers who work outside in the cold or use power tools on a regular basis, for instance, also at risk.

A repetitive stress injury can create challenges for workers seeking to perform their jobs but unable to do so because the injury they are suffering from. That is why workers' compensation benefits are available to injured workers as a protection against mounting medical bills to treat their injury while they are at the same time unable to work. It is important for injured workers to be familiar with workers' compensation options that are available to help them with repetitive stress injuries and other harm suffered on the job.

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