Learn more about tendonitis at work and if you are eligible for workers’ compensation
Workplace injuries are often associated with a single traumatic incident, such as a car accident or a slip and fall. However, a significant portion of work-related injuries is a result of cumulative repetitive postures and movements on the job—commonly referred to as “occupational illnesses.”
Tendonitis is one such workplace injury that is related to repetitive stress and may qualify you for workers’ compensation in Arizona.
What is tendonitis?
Tendonitis is a painful condition resulting from the inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are the tissues that connect muscles and bones. Although tendons can withstand some degree of tension and pressure, they can become irritated, inflamed or damaged when overworked, causing this painful condition.
Tendonitis can occur anywhere in the body, but it mostly affects the hands and wrists. Tennis elbow is a common type of tendonitis that causes pain on the elbow’s outer side and exudes pain down to the wrist. Achilles tendonitis relates to the overuse of the Achilles tendon located between the calf and heel muscles. Shoulder bursitis is occasioned by the shoulder capsule and the surrounding tendon inflammation.
Common signs and symptoms of tendonitis
The effects of tendonitis are seen or felt where tendons attach to bones. Different types of tendonitis involve any or all of the signs and symptoms mentioned below.
- Pain (which varies from dull tender aches to throbbing acute pains)
- Heat or redness
- Reduced flexibility or range of motion
- Loss of coordination and strength
- Lump(s) along with the tendons
During the onset of the condition, you may not experience any symptoms or only feel them when performing a particular motion or in a specific posture. Without treatment, you will gradually develop other symptoms and experience them more often, leaving you incapable of doing your job and performing simple everyday actions.
What causes tendonitis?
Tendonitis develops due to the overuse of certain parts of the body. The repetitive stress results in damage to the tendons, resulting in injuries over time that increase in severity as pain and movement persist. It can also occur because of poor technique when using certain parts of the body. There are quite a few occupational hazards that predispose you to tendonitis.
For instance, repetitive use of computers when typing at work puts you at risk of developing cumulative injuries to the arms, wrists and hands. Job tasks requiring frequent lifting and bending, repeated micro-movements, holding awkward positions and using vibrating equipment are all risk factors.
Some high-risk jobs for occupational tendonitis include:
- Bus drivers
- Assembly line workers
- Delivery drivers
- Nurses and nursing employees
- Office and clerical employees
- Construction workers
- Professional athletes
Employers should be aware of the risks facing their employees and try to mitigate them. Employers can minimize repetitive stress injuries by improving workstation and equipment ergonomics, which reduces unnecessary strain and stress on employees and boosts productivity. They should also train and educate their workers on how to avoid tendonitis. Proper prevention can reduce compensation claims and spare their workers the pain, suffering and wage loss caused by tendonitis.
Treatment for tendonitis
When seeking work-related tendonitis treatment, it is essential to follow Arizona’s workers’ comp settlement rules. Pay close attention to the early signs of tendonitis and notify your employer immediately if you suspect the symptoms relate to your job.
You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. Waiting too long before seeing a doctor could impede recovery and make it harder to acquire workers’ comp benefits. The treatment prescribed by a physician is determined based on the extent of the condition, overall treatment and health preferences and the patient’s age.
Possible treatment options include:
- Physical therapy
- Demobilizing affected areas using a splint
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Modification of regular activity
Doctors also prescribe work restrictions like time limits for specific tasks and frequent breaks.
Arizona workers’ compensation for occupational tendonitis
There must be evidence that the injury was indeed work-related for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You should report your work-related injury to your employer immediately and seek medical attention; otherwise, you risk being denied benefits by the insurance company.
File a claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) as soon as possible. Don’t forget to inform your employer of any work-related limitations placed on your job by the doctor.
Having a professional workers’ compensation lawyer by your side throughout this process can help to secure the best possible outcome. In Arizona, you are eligible for benefits that include:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Travel expenses to/from medical appointments
- Lost wages
Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are up to 2/3 of your average monthly income up to the state’s maximum benefit. For permanent partial disability (PPD), you are eligible for scheduled or unscheduled benefits depending on the affected body part.
What about pain and suffering?
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation in Arizona doesn’t include compensation for pain and suffering. However, if you were injured due to your employer’s gross negligence, a third-party or if your employer was not insured at the time of your diagnosis, you may be able to pursue emotional distress damages by filing a third-party lawsuit.
When to consult an experienced Arizona workers’ compensation attorney
Do not be intimidated or misinformed by your employer or insurance company. Instead, contact our Arizona workers’ compensation lawyers to start your compensation claim today and set you up for success. We will protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation and care you deserve.