When many people think of workplace injuries, they think of major accidents that cause bloody, life-altering injuries. These types of injuries, however, are rare. Far more common are soft-tissue injuries.
A soft-tissue injury involves damage to the muscles, tendons or ligaments. While soft-tissue injuries tend to occur during sports, exercise or other rigorous activities, they can also occur during everyday activities. If a job involves repeated physical activity, it may lead to a soft-tissue injury.
Understanding soft-tissue injuries
There are two categories of soft-tissue injuries: Acute injuries, and overuse injuries. Acute injuries occur after a trauma like a fall, twist or blow. Overuse injuries develop over time when someone repeats a certain physical activity.
Workers can incur both types of injuries. Sprains, strains and contusions are all examples of acute injuries that could happen in the workplace—say, if someone were to trip and fall. Overuse injuries happen in all types of environments, including seemingly safe workplaces like offices. Tendinitis and bursitis are just two examples.
What are the symptoms?
You may have a soft-tissue injury if you experienced a one-time physical trauma or your job involves a repetitive physical activity. The affected area may experience:
- Muscle pain
If you believe that you have a soft-tissue injury that originated at work, you should consult a doctor immediately.
Workers' compensation for soft-tissue injuries
Workplace injuries do not have to be physically devastating to cause pain and suffering, loss of income and expensive medical bills. Soft-tissue injuries can take a serious toll on one's health and career, and may necessitate compensation.
When a worker incurs a soft-tissue injury on the job, they can frequently obtain workers' compensation. Many people choose to work with an attorney to navigate this process and help ensure that they get maximum compensation.