Repetitive stress injuries occur every day among Missouri’s workforce. However, many office workers do not realize they are as susceptible to these injuries, associating them with manual laborers.
Unfortunately, if you hold a desk job, you may encounter various roadblocks when you file a workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive stress injury.
What does a repetitive stress injury involve?
Continuously performing tasks or maintaining positions involving the same muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons can lead to long-lasting painful tissue inflammation and tears. Office workers can experience repetitive stress injuries from daily computer use or sitting at a desk all day without proper postural support. The most common injuries among office workers include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tendonitis and back strains. Working without taking frequent breaks or using an ergonomically correct chair and desk could lead to damage that causes debilitating pain and poor range of motion.
Why do insurers challenge repetitive stress injuries?
For various reasons, most workers’ compensation claims meet with resistance from insurance providers. First, these soft tissue injuries are not detectable with radiological imaging. As a result, a physician must perform a physical exam and rely on a patient’s symptoms to make a diagnosis.
Also, an insurance adjuster may argue that non-work-related lifestyle factors are responsible for a worker’s injury without direct evidence linking it to a job-related activity. Unfortunately, repetitive stress injuries occur over time, and it can be tempting to ignore the initial discomfort they cause. As a result, workers may not realize the extent of their injuries until they miss the state’s filing deadline leading to automatic claim denial.
Although insurers often initially deny workers’ compensation claims for repetitive stress injuries, a well-crafted appeal can ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.