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Causes of repetitive stress injuries

On Behalf of | May 11, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports repetitive stress injuries impact 1.8 million workers annually. A repetitive stress injury in Freehold, New Jersey, is caused by muscle exertion and has several causes.

Carpel tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes 32.5% of repetitive stress injuries on the job with an average of 28 missed workdays. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist gets damaged from repetitive movements, such as typing.

Some common symptoms include finger tingling, fingers feeling swollen, trouble gripping objects, and hand or wrist pain. In some states, an employee may be able to get workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses.


Bursitis affects the bursa, tiny sacs filled with fluid that minimize joint friction. Damage to the bursa may cause inflammation, stiffness, pain when touching the area, limited movement, and redness.

Some common areas impacted by bursitis include shoulders, knees, elbows, and hips from putting pressure on them. This may occur from occupations that require sitting on the knees, such as carpentry, or lifting objects overhead.


Tendonitis occurs when the tendons, which are the thick, rope-like structures connected to muscles, are damaged. Some common symptoms include swelling, a dull ache, pain when pressed, redness, and difficulty moving the area.

Rotator cuff injury is a type of tendonitis that causes pain, swelling, and weakness in the shoulder area. Rotator cuff injuries often occur gradually from repetitive motion or suddenly, such as from falls or lifting heavy objects. A trigger finger or thumb occurs when a finger or thumb are stuck in one place because of inflammation.

Worker’s compensation pays an employee a percentage of their salary while they recover. However, the injury must meet certain requirements to qualify. In New Jersey, employees only have two years to file a claim.