Cumulative trauma injuries in Glendale and anywhere else refer to injuries that occur due to repeated motions or movements. They often crop up as a result of certain occupations. The most common areas affected by such injuries are the hand, wrist, neck and back and can typically be blamed on workstations that are poorly designed and that aren’t ergonomic. If you suffer from such an injury, it pays to get in touch with a worker’s compensation lawyer to find out what rights and payment you’re entitled to have your injury treated and resolved. Here’s what you need to know.
How Cumulative Trauma Injuries in Glendale Occur
As mentioned above, poorly planned workstations are the leading cause of cumulative trauma injuries. They can occur as a result of sitting slumped over a computer, any position that keeps your wrists bent and your elbows extended, and repetitive actions such as typing, filing, etc. Essentially, these injuries could be caused by anything that requires you to repeat the same movement over and over again. The problem with this type of injury is that it occurs gradually and may not be something you even notice until it’s interfering with your performance and comfort on the job. Fortunately, if you are at risk of a cumulative trauma injury due to your job, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
How to Prevent Cumulative Trauma Injuries
The single best way to prevent cumulative trauma injuries is to create a safe and ergonomic workstation that eliminates the risk factors. You need an adjustable chair that you can put higher or lower to keep your arms and wrists at a straight and comfortable angle when you type. It should be at a height that allows your feet to rest flat on the floor. Keep your computer monitor at eye level and about 18 to 30 inches away from your face. You also want to keep the glare at a minimum to protect your eyes. When you work, keep your arms and wrists relaxed and tucked close to your body. Make sure that all the tools and equipment you use most are close to you so that you don’t have to reach or extend repeatedly to get them. If you work with vibrating tools, do any heavy lifting or engage in repeated gripping or forceful hand motions. Make every effort to take breaks as often as possible and stretch your body to prevent injuries.
Types of Injuries to Be Aware Of
There are several cumulative trauma injuries that you could be susceptible to in certain jobs. Knowing what to be on the lookout for can help prevent such an injury and identify when you may need to see a doctor. These include neck injuries involving the tendons, muscles or bones and can be evident if you see or feel any pain, bulging or protrusions. Shoulder injuries generally involve the rotator cuff or the tendons in the area. The lower back and wrist are common places to experience cumulative trauma injuries and could make themselves evident via pain, reduced function, inflammation, numbness and visible damage. You may also notice pinched nerves or numbness in the arms, fingers and other parts of the body. If you experience any of these symptoms or others that worry you, make an appointment with your doctor right away. This can minimize the injury and help you heal more quickly without exacerbating them.
Types of Treatment for Cumulative Trauma Injuries
Your treatment will be determined by your specific case and you will need to work with your doctor to decide what the best course of action is for your injury. You might need to undergo physical therapy to restore function and comfort to the area where you are suffering. This might be weekly or more, depending on the nature and severity of your injury. Some injuries may require wearing a brace or other device to help mobilize the area. Medications may be prescribed to eliminate inflammation or pain. In the most severe cases, you may have to quit working or find a job that doesn’t require the same movements and motions and allow you to rest your body so that it can recover and not get worse. It’s important to follow your doctor’s directions and stick to your treatment plan so that you can get better. Untreated injuries can lead to further health problems so it’s vital to see your doctor as soon as you can.
Cumulative trauma injuries sound scary, but you can recover from them and prevent them by staying diligent and taking care of yourself. If you do end up with an injury, be sure to seek treatment. Talk to your boss and human resources department so that you can get your workers compensation as required by law.