What is an RSI, and will workers’ compensation cover it?

Many workers in Folsom and surrounding communities can easily suffer from work-related injuries, whether they are in construction, at an office, in the healthcare field or some other industry. While some injuries are the result of single events that point to the source of pain or disability, many injuries occur over time from overuse that will result in chronic pain or loss of function.

Because such injuries require detailed documentation and clear medical records that will establish cause when an injured worker submits a workers’ compensation (WC) claim, it can be challenging to receive adequate compensation for the extent of the injury. Having a strong legal advocate who is knowledgeable in the complexities of WC cases can maximize health benefits and minimize claim delays or denials.

What is a repetitive stress injury?

A repetitive stress injury, or RSI, is a condition that develops over time from repetitive motions or strain to one part of the body, resulting in muscle, tendon, or nerve damage. An RSI can take years to develop, and the individual affected may not even realize how significant the damage is until they experience loss of function to that part of the anatomy.

Common RSI’s that diminish a worker’s ability to perform their job function or prevent them with that activity include:

  • Back strains and sprains
  • Herniated discs
  • Tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
  • Bursitis
  • Nerve compression resulting in loss of sensation

Common work-related tasks that result in an RSI may occur in a wide range of jobs, such as:

  • Office work, performing typing, writing, sorting and other repetitive motions.
  • Construction and transportation work, such as working with vibrating equipment, carrying heavy loads, or overuse and strain of certain muscles.
  • Healthcare work, standing in the same posture for long periods, bending, lifting or pulling patients, or pushing heavy equipment.

Work accommodations can alleviate some symptoms, but often the worker does not realize the severity of the damage until the RSI requires medical attention. Psychological stress and monotony can magnify the symptoms.

Does California WC cover RSI?

California WC offers comprehensive coverage of RSI claims that includes medical care, temporary or permanent disability, and supplemental job displacement and death benefits. In addition, employers are required to provide accommodations for an approved disability.

It is extremely important to promptly report the injury to the employer, meet the deadlines for filing claim forms and document all medical procedures and treatments, so that the claims process will go smoothly.