With so many people working from home (often for longer work hours), repetitive strain injuries are becoming an even more prevalent issue. Remote and telecommuting injuries that occur during the act of fulfilling work duties could be covered under workers’ compensation. It is crucial for remote workers to recognize the signs of a repetitive strain injury that could occur in the course of their day.
Understanding repetitive strain injuries
Repetitive injuries occur slowly over time and could be a combination of damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. The onset of such an injury may be gradual and develop to a point that either is incapacitating or somewhere on the pain spectrum that could require medical intervention. Hopefully an injury is caught early and would require only physical therapy, ergonomic intervention or minor rehabilitative care, but sometimes an injury requires surgical procedures to remedy. Here are some of the activities that could lead to repetitive strain injuries:
Monitor/laptop height: The constant strain and muscle stress that comes from looking down at a screen that is too low for the user can cause neck injuries and lasting discomfort. Using a raised screen or setting a computer to a height that is level with a person’s natural posture could improve neck health.
Keyboard/mouse use: Ergonomics are incredibly important to maintaining proper wrist health. Carpal tunnel is a common injury that could arise from improper wrist alignment during types and mouse use.
Chair selection: It’s difficult to maintain good posture throughout the day. Chairs provide additional support that can either exacerbate poor posture or encourage better spine alignment and core muscle engagement.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim
When an injury occurs, it is necessary for workers to file a claim in a timely manner. Often, certain documentation will be necessary to provide the necessary information regarding the extent of an injury. If you find you’ve developed an injury from your work, file a claim in a timely manner to pursue benefits.