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Repetitive Motion Injuries in the Workplace

by | Jan 12, 2017 | Repetitive Stress Injuries, Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injuries

It’s easy to take our health for granted. We don’t think much about using our wrists, hands, and back to perform normal, everyday tasks until it’s all taken away due to a “repetitive motion injury.”

Repetitive motion injuries are no joke; they are some of the most prevalent injuries suffered by workers in the United States.

Since we must go through life performing normal, routine tasks, such as walking, typing, doing dishes and other housework, and for some, taking care of infants and toddlers, these injuries are only worsened by the routine activities of daily living.

Common causes of repetitive motion injuries in the workplace include:

  • Friction
  • Trauma (e.g. a workplace accident)
  • Repetitive activity, such as typing, continuous heavy lifting, and engaging in the same repetitive motions day in and day out

If you have any of the following symptoms, it’s time to call your doctor: 1) you feel pain when you wake up in the morning, 2) you cannot sleep on the affected side, 3) you cannot carry on normal daily activities, such as brushing your teeth, 4) joint tenderness, 5) it hurts when you move your arms or legs, or 6) the pain wakes you up at night.


People tend to associate workplace injuries with a single event, such as an explosion, a fall from a roof, or a trench collapse. In reality, many workplace injuries have nothing to do with a single, life-altering accident. Instead, they’re traced back to minor, repetitive movements repeated over and over day in and day out over time.

Fortunately, workers can file a claim through the workers’ compensation system for their repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). Often, an RSI causes a worker so much pain, that they cannot perform their normal job tasks.

Sometimes, something as simple as bending over to brush one’s teeth, or raising their arm to get something off a shelf is impossible due to an RSI. Understandably, RSIs are so common that they make up more workplace injuries than any other category, including slips and falls.

These workers are at a high risk of an RSI:

  • People who work at computers all day
  • Workers who have physical jobs
  • People who work in construction or manufacturing

In a recent case, we recovered $156,000 for a construction worker whose repetitive motion injury required back and shoulder surgery. His doctors attributed his back and shoulder injuries to the repetitive lifting of heavy machinery on the job site.

If you a repetitive motion injury or RSI is causing you pain and discomfort, we urge you to contact our firm to speak with a New York workers compensation attorney for free. To learn more about our case results, click here!