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Are repetitive strain injuries covered by workers' comp?

Construction workers, bloggers and baristas have one thing in common and Washington residents are probably not going to be able to guess what it is-they perform the same function again and again while working and end up suffering from repetitive strain injuries. RSI actually refers to a wide variety of problems that are associated with repetitive tasks, vibrations, mechanical compression or awkward positions.

RSi is most commonly caused by overuse of a particular group of muscles, working in cold temperatures, forceful activities, direct pressure to particular areas and holding the same position for prolonged periods. It can also be caused by carrying heavy loads or by fatigue. Psychological stress has shown to make RSI worse.

Some of the more common symptoms of RSI are tenderness or pain in the joint or the muscles affected, a throbbing or a pulsing sensation in the affected area, tingling in the hand or the arm, and loss of strength or sensation. Symptoms can vary depending on the area of the body that is affected.

A significant portion of workplace injuries is caused by repetitive motion, whether the worker is working behind the computer in an office or at a construction site in cold temperatures. If it can be shown that the injuries sustained were because of work-related duties, it might be possible for the injured employee to recover workers' compensation to cover medical bills and lost wages due to an absence from work. However, it might be helpful to speak to an experienced attorney about one's injuries, as some injuries develop over time and employers might be more likely to dispute claims related to that.

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