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Is your job painful?

AdobeStock_85698511.jpegYou really never minded going to the same Minnesota location and doing the same job, day after day. In fact, you'd always be sort of a creature of habit, and when your structure and routine is the center of your life, you feel at ease. You may even have been glad your job was not on the typical lists of most dangerous jobs in the nation.

You'd heard stories about the risks other workers in more hazardous positions encounter regularly, such as those who work on construction sites, on the railroad or in emergency community service industries. It all changed, however, when you began to feel aches and pains that you just couldn't seem to shake no matter what you tried. A colleague mentioned the term repetitive strain injury to you and suggested you seek a medical examination. Your friend also mentioned that such situations often lead to workers' compensation claims.

What is repetitive strain injury?

Although habits and routines in some aspects of life can be beneficial, in other situations, such as the workplace, doing the same thing over and over again, or more specifically, performing the same body motion repeatedly, may cause injury. The following information explains RSI and provides resources where you can seek support if you think you may have this condition:

  • Muscles, tendons and joints often affected: You may have already heard of health conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome; perhaps you even know someone who has it or suspect that you do. This type of injury most often affects the wrist and thumb area of the hand and arm. Many typists or workers who complete the same motion with their hands for hours on end are at great risk for this injury. Certain leisure activities, such as knitting or video gaming may also be prone to carpal tunnel or other RSIs.
  • Necks and backs or chronic headaches: Most people experience headaches or backaches at some point in their lives. However, if you feel something isn't right and you are experiencing frequent discomfort in these or other bodily areas, you may want to seek physical examination to further investigate the matter.

When you think of workplace injuries, you may be inclined to imagine sudden, unexpected incidents that result in bodily injuries to those involved. However, RSI and other adverse health conditions are not typically acute or immediately apparent. They develop slowly over time. This is why it's crucial to seek appropriate medical care and to report any medical diagnosis to your employer as soon as possible.

Who can help?

Many Minnesota workers have been able to obtain treatment and alleviate the symptoms of their conditions with proper medical attention. Some have also been able to return to their workplace duties while others, unfortunately, have suffered permanent disability. In either case, speaking with a workers' compensation attorney helped them obtain benefits to replace lost wages and meet the expenses associated with their medical conditions.

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The Minnesota Department of Labor and the Office of Administrative Hearings have temporarily halted all in person conferences. In addition scheduled hearings may also be delayed. Atkinson Gerber Law will continue to remain open with a small staff to continue assisting existing clients and answer the questions of new potential clients. The remainder of our staff will continue to assist you working remotely. We understand that this emergency magnifies the already pressing situation injured workers face with wage loss and lack of medical care. There may be some delays in responding to calls but we are making every effort to assist you. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

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