How do you prove that a repetitive strain injury is work-related?

Repetitive strain injuries are common in many different industries. Caused by small, cumulative traumas to a worker's joints, muscles and tendons, the effects of repetitive strain injuries can be seen on factory workers and office employees alike.

Contrary to popular belief, injuries to your body caused by overuse are not just the product of age. More than likely, they're related to the work that you do, which means that you potentially have a valid workers' compensation claim.

But how do you prove that your injury is work-related and not something that developed either off-the-clock or for no particular reason at all?

It starts with your first visit to the doctor's office for your condition. An orthopedic specialist or rheumatologist may order x-rays and a magnetic resonance injury (MRI) to look for damaged tendons or swollen nerves in your shoulders, arms, wrists or hands and compare the results to your complaints. That helps establish the source of your pain.

However, you also need to make certain that your doctor knows what type of work activities you regularly perform and how they affect your condition. Most doctors have a clear understanding of what types of work activity tend to lead to certain repetitive strain injuries. Discussing the likely cause of your injury with your doctor makes certain that the information will be included in your chart. If your doctor recognizes a connection between your occupation and your injury, that can help prove your case.

Workers' comp insurers often try to evade responsibility for repetitive strain injuries. They may say that your condition can't possibly be related to your job or was pre-existing in an attempt to deny or diminish your claim. That's why many workers with repetitive strain injuries eventually need legal assistance with their claims.

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