Do repetitive stress injuries qualify for workers' comp benefits?

When most Worcester residents think of a work-related injury, their minds are likely to focus on devastating incidents, such as construction site accidents, industrial burns or occupational diseases, such as asbestos. However, there are a variety of injuries, from neck and back injuries to repetitive stress ailments, that can be caused not by single incidents, but by constant strain over a long period of time.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are injuries, which affect the muscles, joints and tendons, as well as the nerves, spinal discs and cartilage. Some Massachusetts workers may suffer from work-related MSD that are either caused by one's work environment or performance or are worsened by their conditions of work.

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MSDs can include carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, hernias, sprains, tears and strains. They are often caused by repeated motion, overexertion, bending, twisting, reaching and the like.

While these types of injuries tend not to be fatal, they can still cause severe distress in the life of a worker. In addition to persistent physical pain, these injuries can result in medical expenses for the worker, lost wages due to time away from one's job, and frustration at not being able to perform at one's peak productivity. In addition, these types of injuries can also be tough on an employer, as they can cause absenteeism and lost production in the workplace.

How can these damaging injuries be addressed? Some may be surprised to learn that workers' compensation benefits are available for repetitive stress injuries. A Worcester workers' compensation attorney can help someone who has been injured on the job proceed with a workers' compensation claim. The benefits obtained through a claim can help tackle the medical expenses and lost wages associated with the injury.

Source: CDC.gov, "Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) prevention," accessed on July 11, 2015