Repetitive Motion Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Claims in North Carolina

dental hygienist using both hands while cleaning patients teeth; repetitive motion can lead to injuries

Does your work require you to perform repetitive motions in your daily duties? You may have performed the same or similar task for years, causing significant wear to joints, nerves, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and other parts of your body.

If you are feeling discomfort or pain and believe you might have suffered a repetitive motion injury, don’t despair. You could be eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. Our experienced work injury lawyers are ready to help you maximize your benefits.

The North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at the law firm of Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, have been helping injured workers seek the benefits they need for more than 40 years. We have the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to handle any claim, including those arising from repetitive motion.

Contact us today for a free claim review and find out more about your legal options.

Can Repetitive Work Cause Injuries?

Yes, workers frequently suffer injuries due to repetitive motions at work. While some of these injuries result in only mild discomfort, many others become debilitating – especially if they worsen over time.

Workers in North Carolina must often perform tasks that include repetitive motions, such as:

  • Typing and data entry
  • Operating machinery
  • Assembly line work
  • Welding
  • Construction
  • Painting or finishing
  • Agricultural work
  • Packaging work
  • Driving (particularly long distances or long shifts)
  • Retail sales

Repetitive motion injuries can significantly impact your ability to perform your job and your quality of life outside work. That’s why it is crucial to take repetitive motion injuries seriously and seek treatment and benefits if an injury arises.

What Are Common Injuries Seen in Repetitive Motion Workers’ Comp Cases?

If your job requires repetitive movements, an injury could develop instantly or gradually over time.

Some of the most common repetitive motion injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – This painful condition is caused by the compression of nerves in the wrist and hands.
  • Tendinitis – This condition occurs when tendons, usually in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, or ankle, become inflamed due to overuse.
  • Tennis elbow (epicondylitis) – Individuals with this condition often experience pain and inflammation in the elbow due to repetitive wrist and arm motions.
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis – Tendons in the wrist can become inflamed and cause pain and swelling in the thumb and wrist.
  • Bursitis – This occurs when the bursae – tiny fluid-filled sacs that cushion our joints – become inflamed. It frequently affects the shoulder, elbow, hip, or knee.
  • Trigger finger or thumb – If the tendons in your hand become inflamed, you might experience pain and a clicking or locking sensation in the finger or thumb.
  • Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) – Golfer’s elbow is caused by inflammation in the inner part of the elbow and frequently happens due to overuse of the arm and wrist.
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome – The nerves and blood vessels in the neck and upper chest can become inflamed and cause severe pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms.
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome – When the nerves in the elbow become inflamed, you might experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm.

These conditions are often referred to as repetitive stress injuries or RSIs. RSIs can be painful, involve significant swelling, and make it difficult to perform daily tasks. If you suffer from an RSI, you might need medical treatment and physical therapy. You could be forced to take time off work.

If you have suffered a repetitive motion injury due to your job, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer’s policy.

What Are Some Symptoms of Repetitive Motion Injuries?

The symptoms of repetitive stress injuries can vary depending on the injury’s location, type, and severity.

Some common symptoms of RSIs include:

  • Pain in the affected area, frequently in the wrist, elbow, shoulder, or neck
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms, fingers, or hands
  • Weakness and inability to perform tasks as you normally would
  • Stiffness after being in the same position for an extended period or when waking up in the morning after a day at work
  • Swelling in the affected area
  • Cramping, which is mainly an issue in the hands or fingers
  • Limited range of motion

If you are experiencing symptoms like these and think they might be related to your job, seek medical attention and inform your employer immediately. Getting early treatment could help prevent your injuries from worsening and help you start to heal sooner.

How Do You Treat a Repetitive Motion Injury?

Depending on the nature and severity, medical treatment and therapy could be used to treat your repetitive motion injury.

Some standard treatment options for RSIs include:

  • Medication – Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or cortisone injections could reduce pain and swelling.
  • Surgery – In severe cases, surgery might be recommended to repair damaged nerves or tendons.
  • Physical therapy – PT can help improve flexibility and strength, particularly during the healing process.
  • Occupational therapy – OT uses exercise and adaptations to help improve your skills and help you get back to work.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Workers’ Comp Claims?

Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-58 of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims Act, you have two years from the date of injury to file your workers’ compensation claim. If you did not realize you were injured or if it developed over time – typical for RSIs – the clock will begin ticking on the date you knew or reasonably should have known that your injury was work-related.

That’s why you should contact a workers’ comp attorney at Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, as soon as possible for help filing your claim. If you miss the deadline, you might lose your right to receive the benefits you need and deserve.

How Can a Lawyer Help with My Workers’ Comp Claim?

If you are dealing with the pain of a repetitive motion injury from work, you should first contact our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers to represent you. You should have the time to get treatment and recover from your injuries while we do all the legal legwork for your case.

Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help you by:

  • Gathering evidence that will show the cause and severity of your injury
  • Petition to change doctors for different examinations and diagnoses if the insurance company refuses your claim
  • Build a strong case according to the requirements set by the North Carolina Industrial Commission
  • Appeal the decision If your claim is denied or does not meet what you’ll need to get treatment and recover
  • Help you understand whether a settlement is right for your situation.

Contact Our NC Workers’ Comp Lawyers for Help with Your Case

At Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, we are committed to helping North Carolina workers get the compensation benefits they need and deserve. Our lawyers have been designated Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialists by the North Carolina State Bar, which means you can trust that your case is in the right hands.

We know repetitive motion injuries can be debilitating and make it difficult to work or enjoy life outside of it. Let us put our skills and resources to work for you and help you get on the path to recovery.

If you’ve suffered a repetitive motion injury on the job, contact us for a free consultation today.