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Are injuries that develop gradually covered by workers' comp?

If you work for a manufacturing company, you must always be careful around equipment and alert to the possibility of sudden injury.

However, is workers' compensation coverage limited to a single event? What about a condition that develops over time, such as a repetitive stress injury?

Common injuries

Let us say your co-worker lost his thumb in a machine accident. Recently, another co-worker broke his wrist in a fall from a ladder while storing supplies in the warehouse. Both injuries received approval for workers' compensation coverage. On the other hand, you have been suffering from a very sore shoulder from the lifting and stacking work you perform daily. Will this type of injury be eligible for insurance coverage?

Widely recognized

If the repeated motion required by the kind of work you do caused your shoulder problem, it is a repetitive stress injury. It may surprise you to learn that this is one of the most common claims made for workers' compensation.

You have probably heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects the median nerve in the wrist, but repetitive stress can also cause injury to hands, elbows and shoulders. Your neck could also be affected, as well as your back. If you do not receive treatment for the shoulder problem, you could be looking at life-long medical issues. Your goal is to receive proper care for the injury so that you can work without pain.

Medical treatment

Your first step is to visit a doctor without delay. A medical report showing that your shoulder injury was work-related will be important in terms of filing your claim for workers' compensation. Treatment for your injury might include physical therapy, injections or oral medication, and your doctor will likely warn you against uninterrupted repetitions and overexertion. With proper medical treatment, the discomfort caused by your repetitive stress injury may be significantly reduced or eliminated altogether.


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