It might surprise you to you learn the rate at which American workers are experiencing injuries on the job. In fact, in 2019 alone, every 2.8 workers out of 100 experienced a nonfatal injury from work.
The ache in your arms and elbows that you keep writing off to a little bit of overwork might actually be tennis elbow. You don’t have to be a tennis player to sustain a tennis elbow kind of injury.
And you might be even more surprised to learn that a tennis elbow injury might also be covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation claim.
Need some time off to recover from your tennis elbow injury? You might want to think about whether you can get your work-related tennis elbow injury covered. Read on to learn more about how worker’s compensation might be able to help you.
What Is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow, formally known as lateral epicondylitis, is a repetitive activity injury. You’re not likely to get a tennis elbow injury from a day or two on the job. Yet, doing the same job for a long period of time could absolutely result in this type of injury.
Tennis elbow occurs when there is inflammation in the forearm muscles. The extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon also becomes inflamed. These are the muscles and tendons used to open and close your hand and move your arm from the elbow.
Tennis elbow symptoms include pain and tenderness in the bony knob on the outside of the elbow. The injured and inflamed tendons connect to the bone at the elbow joint.
Causes of Tennis Elbow on the Job
As was already mentioned, tennis elbow, also called elbow tendonitis, is a repetitive injury. It happens when you use the muscles and tendons over and over again.
Jobs that require your arms to move in a frequent and repetitive motion make you at risk for tennis elbow. This might include:
- Cutting ingredients in a restaurant kitchen
- Driving screws
- Playing musical instruments
- Squeezing gardening shears
- Using a computer mouse
- Using plumbing tools
Each of these jobs often requires continuous repetitive movements that trigger a tennis elbow problem.
Treating Tennis Elbow
Unfortunately, tennis elbow is not a quick-fix injury either. if you start to experience symptoms, you’ll also notice them worsening as you continue to use the motion causing the injury. Treatments include
- Ice on the injury
- NSAIDs (such as Advil or Aleve)
- Gentle exercise
- Ultrasound for diagnosis
- Bracing or compression
- Steroid injections
Most will suggest one of the best remedies and treatments for tennis elbow is rest. If your injury is from work-related movement, this often means the way to treat it is by not working to give the muscles and tendons in the arm a true rest from the motion.
While you’re trying to heal your tennis elbow, you also want to avoid certain kinds of movements that will be triggers for those muscles and tendons.
These motions include:
- Stretching your arm to fully extended
- Lifting heavy objects, especially with the injured arm only
- Carrying any weight while the arm is fully extended
- Grasping small objects repeatedly
Work hard to avoid the motions that will cause swelling.
Filing a Workers Compensation Claim for Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is the type of repetitive stress injury that you can file a worker’s compensation claim for. In most states, you do not have to show that the injury is the fault of the employer. Instead, you will have to show how the work you do is the cause of the injury.
Getting the right medical diagnosis and reports from doctors who specialize in worker’s compensation cases can help with your case. They will know how to show the injury you’re suffering is a result of the repetitive work being done at your job.
What Does Workers Compensation Cover?
Worker’s compensation can provide coverage for you as an injured worker in a few ways.
It can cover the cost of medical care like doctor’s visits. If your doctor prescribes physical therapy, which is highly likely with this type of injury, that also can be covered.
Another benefit included in worker’s compensation coverage is lost wages. With tennis elbow, one of the most effective healing methods is rest. This means not doing the motions that caused the injury in the first place. This might mean not working for a period of time.
If you’re able to get coverage from worker’s compensation, you can get a percentage of your wages paid during the time you’re off. This percentage varies from state to state, depending on their laws.
Getting the Help You Need to Get Your Claim Covered
The unfortunate thing about worker’s compensation is that you’re dealing with an insurance company. While they’re paid to provide coverage, they don’t always make it easy to get paid.
It may be necessary to retain legal counsel to help with your case. You want a lawyer who specializes in worker’s compensation cases. This is important because they know how to stand up to the insurance companies and get the benefits paid.
A worker’s compensation lawyer will know how to work with the medical team to get evidence to show how your tennis elbow injury is a result of on-the-job actions. They also are experienced in dealing with insurance companies, especially ones who might be resisting approving a claim.
If necessary, they know how to handle a case in court to show you should be receiving benefits.
Sometimes employees are reluctant to seek legal help because of their employer. It’s important to remember, your employer pays the insurance company for this coverage. It’s not your employer saying no to coverage, instead, it’s the insurance company.
Workers Compensation as Needed for Your Tennis Elbow Condition
Tennis elbow can be a frustrating and painful chronic condition. You may need worker’s compensation coverage to get the time off needed to help this injury heal properly.
If you’re suffering from tennis elbow and feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your worker’s compensation insurance company, we can help. Contact us today to get a free case review of your injury and worker’s compensation claim.