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Carpentry, hammering and a repetitive stress injury

Perhaps you took woodshop in school and found you liked carpentry so much that you eventually made it your career.

As a carpenter, you now have a steady job with a home builder, but hammering and other types of repetitive work are taking a toll: You have developed bursitis in your shoulder.

Bursitis explained

Bursitis is a painful inflammation of the bursa sac, which provides cushioning between bone and tendon. This condition frequently erupts either in the shoulder or elbow. Interestingly, not all bursa sacs are present when we are born, but develop over time with repetitive motion. Hammering is one such activity, and sawing using a manual saw is another.

Understanding symptoms

Many repetitive stress injuries cause symptoms that include pain, numbness or a tingling sensation. In your case, the swelling in your shoulder is evident. Bursitis is among the most common repetitive stress injuries, and you should notify your superintendent right away. If the shoulder condition represents an on-the-job injury, you have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim to help with medical expenses and more. If not treated promptly, an injury like bursitis can result in prolonged damage to surrounding soft tissues, such as nerves, ligaments and muscles.

A word about tendonitis

Tendonitis is a very similar condition to bursitis. As the name implies, it is the inflammation of a tendon where it meets the bone. The shoulder is a likely location for tendonitis, and you can suffer this condition and bursitis simultaneously.

Seeking assistance

You may not have had any experience submitting a claim for workers’ compensation. Because the pain you experience means you cannot do your job as a carpenter at this time, you are probably concerned about lost wages and how you will pay for medical care. Explore your legal options concerning the filing of your claim. Your advocate can ensure that you receive full coverage for medical expenses plus wage benefits while you focus on recovery and getting back to the work you love.

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