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How repetitive work injuries affect mental health

When we think of work injuries, we often think of physical injuries like broken bones, sprains or cuts. However, repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and back pain can be just as debilitating. They can also have a significant impact on a worker’s mental health.

Employee’s mental health

Repetitive work injuries can be frustrating and upsetting, especially if the damage prevents workers from doing their jobs effectively. Here are some impacts of repetitive motion injury on an employee’s mental health:

  • Chronic pain and discomfort: If a worker experiences constant pain and discomfort, they will have more tendencies to feel frustration, anger and hopelessness.
  • Decreased self-esteem: Employees who feel like they are not meeting expectations at work are more vulnerable to feelings of anxiety and depression. They might see their injury as a sign of weakness that prevents them from reaching their goal.
  • Financial anxiety: If not treated early, repetitive motion injuries can result in lost wages, medical bills and other expenses. Workers experiencing this may feel guilty for taking time off to recover or worried that they might lose their job.

These examples show that although repetitive motion injuries may appear benign, employees need mental health support to manage their symptoms better and improve their overall well-being.

Seeking support

Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits can help provide mental health support to workers who have suffered repetitive injuries. Typically, it can cover the costs of medical treatment related to the injury, including therapy and counseling.

Therapy and counseling can help workers manage the emotional impact of their injury. They can learn coping strategies for chronic pain and develop resilience in the face of adversity. Sometimes, they may also prevent workers from developing depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

To ensure that they receive the benefits they are entitled to, workers with these injuries should talk to a doctor or a mental health professional about their options for mental health support. They should also report their injury to their employer immediately so they can file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible.

Repetitive work injuries can take a toll on a worker’s physical and mental health, but workers’ compensation benefits can help provide the support they need as long as they seek help immediately.