Some elbow injuries from repetitive motions can be avoided by using more ergonomic equipment.
Workers who perform repetitive activities are at a greater risk for elbow injuries. While anyone can sustain an elbow injury at work from an accident, when you perform repetitive activities like grasping or lifting, you are at a heightened risk of elbow injury. Athletes and weight-lifters also commonly experience elbow injuries. Straining or injuring the elbow ligaments or joints can be very painful and may require physical therapy, pain management, or even surgery. If you experience an elbow injury at work, see a doctor. Minor injuries can be managed with rest and ice.
There are several common types of work-related elbow injuries. Most injuries are caused by traumatic accidents or repetitive stress movements.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – Cubital tunnel syndrome is an irritation of the nerve on the inside portion of the elbow, resulting in pain in the ring and little finger, and can also cause numbness.
Referred pain – You may be experiencing pain in your elbow that is actually caused by an injury to the spine. Pain can be referred to the elbow from injuries to other areas as well, like the neck.
Lateral Epicondylitis, which is also known as “tennis elbow” and is very common, consists of inflammation in the outer side of the elbow and is usually the result of repetitive grasping movements. Additional symptoms of Lateral Epicondylitis might be a weak grip, pain when making grasping motions, and pain when stretching out the fingers.
Ligament strain – A tear to the connective tissue or elbow ligament will result in pain. This can be caused by heavy lifting or stress to the muscle or joint.
Elbow fracture – Injuries like elbow fractures that can result from an accident like a fall or a blow to the joint.
What to do if you injure your elbow at work:
Some elbow injuries from repetitive motions can be avoided by using more ergonomic equipment, taking breaks, muscle training, and changing the way you perform your tasks.
If you are having persistent elbow pain and suspect that you may have an elbow injury, you should notify your employer of the injury and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Elbow injuries can be very painful and can be potentially serious, sometimes requiring surgery. It is always a good idea to make sure there is not a bigger issue and to get a doctor’s advice on how best to resolve the injury as quickly as possible.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Medical treatment can be very costly and on top of lost wages, the financial burden of recovering from an elbow injury can be significant. You may also want to discuss your case with a workers’ compensation attorney who can evaluate your case and inform you of your options. Experienced workers’ compensation attorneys understand how to get you the benefits you deserve or an appropriate settlement amount if you are unable to return to work. Finding a workers’ compensation attorney right from the start can help give you peace of mind knowing that you have help navigating the workers’ comp insurance process.
Work Related Injuries
photo credit: RLHyde