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What are repetitive motion disorders?

Repetitive motion disorders refers to a wide range of conditions affecting the muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves that result from motions that are repeated time and time again during work or other activities. Most commonly affecting the shoulders, elbows, wrists and feet, the injuries or disorders can cause pain, swelling, redness, numbness, tingling and a loss of strength or feeling.

Many who suffer from RMD have a job that requires a repetitive motion, such as on an assembly line, computer work, meatpacking or sewing. Examples of RMDs include:

— Tendonitis

— Carpal tunnel syndrome

— Trigger finger

— Bursitis

— Ganglion cysts

If the disorder is not treated, permanent damage can occur to the soft tissue of the affected area. Treatment can include stopping or reducing the repetitive motion, taking frequent breaks, and relaxation and stretching exercises. Ice may help relieve the swelling and pain, and cortisone and pain or anti-inflammatory medications may also be needed.

While RMDs may not be something that everyone considers when thinking of injured workers, repetitive trauma can lead to a need for workers’ compensation benefits. This is especially true if the worker is not able to perform his or her job for quite some time due to his or her symptoms.

Workers’ compensation provides injured workers with compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and permanent or temporary disability. In some cases, a claim for workers’ compensation may be denied. An attorney experienced in workers’ compensation appeals may help an injured worker fight such denials. No worker should have to face financial difficulties due to RMDs that were the result of work.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “NINDS Repetitive Motion Disorders Information Page” Sep. 03, 2014


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