Virtually any kind of job can result in a repetitive stress injury. This is an injury that happens after doing the same motion with your body, over and over again. After a while, the muscles and tendons in the area being used get tired and overworked. When the employee does not receive adequate rest time for the body tissues to repair themselves, the result can be a repetitive stress injury that takes a long time to heal. In fact, sometimes the only way to heal such an injury is with downtime and rest.
At first, a repetitive stress injury might not seem like such a big deal. Perhaps someone who works at a computer typing all day starts to feel some minor cramping or numbness in his or her hands and arms. Over time, these injuries could get worse to the point that they never feel better, chronic pain can develop, and then the worker is no longer able to type at all. This would mean that the worker’s source of employment and income is gone.
Alternatively, how about a baker who has to knead dough all day? At first, maybe his or her left shoulder hurts a little bit. Then, the left shoulder hurts so much that he or she needs to overcompensate with the right shoulder. Before you know it, both of his or her shoulders are shot and he or she cannot work as a baker anymore. These are the kinds of circumstances where workers’ compensation benefits can be enormously helpful.
When a worker cannot type anymore, cannot lift heavy objects anymore or cannot perform his or her job duties due to back, neck, shoulder, knee, elbow or any other type of pain, it might be time to see a doctor about a repetitive stress injury. Also, it might be time to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits — when a claim is successful — will provide a California employee with money to pay for medical care related to a work injury, and in some cases, money to compensate for time spent unable to work.