If you work in the manufacturing industry, food industry, or even in an office in Portland, you might become a victim of Tendinitis or Tenosynovitis, especially if your job requires you to make repetitive motions for hours on end. These conditions develop over time, and it could be excruciating.
These repetitive motion injuries involve tendons and tendon sheaths. Tendons are the strong tissues that attach muscles to bones, such as those in your hand that enable your forearm muscles to move your fingers. Tendons are surrounded by sheaths. Tendinitis is a disease affecting tendons, and Tenosynovitis involves an infection of the tendon sheath.
What are the causes?
Infected tendons typically result from overuse, and in many cases, it involves repetitive motions at work. Tasks like typing, writing, and working on an assembly line cause repetitive strain on tendons — often those in the wrist. In many cases, Tendinitis and Tenosynovitis occur at the same time.
What are the symptoms?
The primary symptoms of these repetitive strain injuries are pain and tenderness around the affected area, along with the following:
- Swelling or a lump can form in the affected area.
- Movement of the affected area causes pain.
- The skin covering the affected area can be warm.
- Movement of the affected area can become difficult.
- The affected area may feel weak or stiff.
- The condition can last for days, weeks or months.
The affected areas can include your wrist, thumb, fingers, elbow, forearm, Achilles tendon or rotator cuff. Ignoring the condition and working through the pain can cause the tendon or tendon sheath to rupture.
No proof exists that you can prevent tendinitis or tenosynovitis. Treatment involves long-term pain medication and, on rare occasions, surgery. However, the following might reduce the risk:
- Avoid overuse of any area of your body.
- Do not suddenly increase any repetitive motions.
- Take frequent breaks from doing repetitive work.
- Ask your employer to rotate duties to allow you to use different muscles.
If you do not take steps to reduce the risk for tendinitis and tenosynovitis, you might have to live with chronic pain in the long-term. Some people have had to quit their jobs due to repetitive motion injuries.
Does workers’ compensation cover these injuries?
You might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but you will have to be able to show that your job caused your injuries. This might be challenging, but help is available. A Portland attorney with experience in dealing with the Oregon workers’ compensation system can assist with the benefits claims process and help you to obtain maximum benefits under applicable state laws.