According to Bureau of Labor statistics from 2011, cumulative trauma disorders comprise over half of all occupational illnesses in the U.S. CTDs are caused and aggravated by repetitive movements or exertions that affect specific parts of the body. Nerve tissue, muscles, and tendons can be damaged over time, with the wrists, shoulders, knees, hands, eyes, neck, and back among the most common body parts affected.
CTDs can be cause by small, repetitive movements, not taking breaks, poor workstation setups, non-ergonomic working conditions, working in the same position for extended periods, too much physical grasping while working, poor work techniques.
Cumulative trauma disorders are also referred to as repetitive stress injuries or disorders (RSD). Different types of occupations can make certain workers vulnerable to this disorder, including (from NOLO):
• Computer and keyboard work
• Scanning bar codes at the check out station of a store
• Pipe setting
• Assembly line work
• Overhead work
• Meat packing
• Shelve stocking
• Playing an instrument
• Mechanic work
A Few Common CTDs:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS): This involves nerves in the hand or wrist getting pinched.
- Bursitis: Pain accompanies irritation of the bursal sac.
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: The ulnar nerve gets compressed. This is the main nerve that sends messages to the muscles of the forearm.
- Trigger Finger: Flexor tendons in the hand become inflamed.
- Guyon’s Canal Syndrome: The ulnar nerve that passes through hand’s palm gets compressed.
- Epicondylitis: Also called tennis elbow, this disorder can occur from too many activities requiring the use of certain tools.
- DeQuervain’s Disease: Involves tendon inflammation and pain in the forearm right above the thumb and the side of the wrist.
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome: Nerve compression within the forearm.
- Tendonitis: Inflammation in the tendons in the area where the bone and the muscle are attached.
When not treated properly, CTDs can lead to a lifetime of pain, discomfort, and permanent disability. It may become impossible to even perform daily tasks, like eating, because it hurts too much.
If you are suffering from a CTD, you should have a medical professional examine you right away. Proper diagnosis and immediate treatment are essential so that the disorder becomes more serious or permanent.
As a worker injured in Massachusetts, you should be entitled to Boston workers’ compensation benefits from your employer for any injury, disorder, or illness sustained on the job. You will want to file your claim as soon as possible. It is also important to speak with a Massachusetts work injury lawyer to make sure you are being properly compensated by your employer and are receiving the benefits you are owed in a timely manner.
Preventing Repetitive Stress Injuries, U.S. Department of Labor
More Blog Posts:
Employer Cannot Get Credit for Lump Sump Compensation Previously Paid in Workers’ Compensation Case, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, May 21, 2015