No one wants to miss work due to pain – it is inconvenient and expensive, and it can make you feel like you aren’t a dedicated employee. However, workers who are experiencing chronic joint pain may want to consider that excessive use of their joints at their place of employment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that arthritis, one example of joint pain, is the leading cause of work disability in the United States. When you have arthritis, your cartilage surfaces between bones wears away, thus causing the bone to rub on bone.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) encompass all physical conditions that affect muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, joints and other soft tissues. MSDs account for approximately one-third of injury and illness costs in U.S. workplaces, according to the CDC, and many of these conditions can result specifically in chronic and short-term joint paint.
Workers’ compensation for joint pain
Employees are covered with workers’ compensation benefits if they are hurt in one of two ways:
- One event, such as a slip-and-fall incident or being exposed to a chemical
- Repeated exposure, such as hurting yourself from repetitive motion or losing your hearing due to persistent noise
The benefits offered to employees are the same regardless of the injury type: employees’ medical care can be paid by the employer and they can receive payments due to lost wages from missing work during recovery.
Working through the claims process
The claims process for workers’ compensation benefits can be tricky, particularly when it comes to proving your injuries are due to repetitive use at work. A workers’ compensation attorney can work on contingency to help with the claims process to maximize the benefits received, and they don’t take a fee unless a case is won.
Joint pain may seem like an insignificant reason to miss work, but repetitive injuries can lead to long-term health concerns. Focusing on recovering now and getting the benefits owed to you by an employer can be better for easing your long-term joint function and keep you working for years to come.