Bowen McKenzie Bowen LLC

When your work injuries are not the result of an accident

If you go home at the end of the day with an aching back and shoulders or tightness and tingling in your fingers, you may be suffering from a repetitive strain injury. This is especially likely if you work in an office, sitting at a computer for hours at a time, day after day. The strain on your hands, arms and back can lead to radiating pain that makes it difficult to do the work you are assigned.

The treatment for RSI, including carpal tunnel syndrome, is controversial. Some doctors recommend surgery, but others say surgery on one part of the body is not a comprehensive treatment for an injury that may extend to other areas. These physicians prescribe physical therapy, including massage. However, the measure the medical world agrees on is prevention.

Making your work area safe

The first factor most people consider when trying to reduce repetitive injury strains is the chair at their workstations. However, there are other devices that your employer may consider investing in to relieve some of the strain on your muscles, joints and tendons, including:

  • Ergonomic keyboards to reduce hand strain
  • Mouse trays to keep the wrist neutral
  • Telephone headsets to prevent neck strain
  • Speech recognition software for less keyboard use

If you work on a laptop for hours at a time, you are likely to feel strain in your neck because of the awkward angle at which you must look at the screen. A PC on a desk is more ergonomically correct and offers more options for adjustment.

The most widely accepted method of prevention for RSI is to vary your positions. Physical therapists recommend that you get up from your station frequently, shift positions, and stretch your arms and back.

Getting medical help

When you have a broken bone or stitches, you will certainly have an easier time convincing your employer and the insurance company that you need medical treatment. With repetitive strain injuries, you may meet with some resistance, especially when it comes to determining the type of treatment you need. In fact, you will likely have to present medical evidence and fight to prove your injuries are work related.

If this doesn't sound enticing, you have the option of enlisting the help of a lawyer to fight the battle for you. Your attorney can help you obtain the medical opinions you need and find the care that will help you begin to recover your full strength. With thorough knowledge of the workers' compensation system in South Carolina, an attorney can ensure that your claim is handled efficiently and compassionately.

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Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice The American Trial Lawyers Association Best Lawyers Injured Workers' Advocates South Carolina Association For Justice South Carolina Bar Law Association

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