Tennis elbow isn’t just for the Williams sisters. In fact, the majority of people diagnosed with lateral epicondylitis (AKA tennis elbow) have never played a game of tennis in their lives. When repetitive motions overuse the tendons in your elbow, the painful condition begins. Usually the pain is felt where your forearm muscles meet the outside of your elbow. However, the pain can also spread down your arm and to the wrist if it goes untreated. This is a very common injury under Illinois workers’ compensation law.
Nurses, plumbers, mechanics, housekeepers, painters, chefs, carpenters, and butchers are some of the professionals on the list of people who may be affected. All of these professionals use their hands and wrists, repeating motions all day long. Eventually this will cause a muscle strain injury. Repetitive motions may create small tears in the tendons of your elbow. The result of those small tears are the symptoms of tennis elbow including: pain and weakness that starts at the elbow and radiates downward. This pain may make it hard to turn a doorknob or hold a cup of coffee. It may even make it impossible to do your job.
Diagnosing tennis elbow is fairly easy for your doctor. One of the questions he or she may ask is if you do a lot of repetitive motion at your job. If they don’t ask that question you need to make sure that they are aware of what you do at work and be as detailed as possible. Your doctor will conduct a series of tests that may include x-rays, an MRI and/or a nerve conduction study (EMG). Once a determination has been made, the treatment of tennis elbow is typically physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicine, and rest of the arm. In extreme cases, surgery to replace or repair the tendon may be needed.
Because these cases usually happen from work over time versus a single incident, you can expect that the insurance company will try to fight your case. They will likely argue that your activities outside of work played a role in this injury happening. If they ask for a recorded statement do not provide one because they will surely try to get you to admit to a lot of computer and phone usage at home as well as other “off the clock” repetitive activities. Be warned as well that it would not be surprising if the insurance company hired a private detective to follow you and see what activities you are doing with your injured arm away from work.
If you have any questions about elbow injuries at work or ANYTHING at all related to Illinois work comp law, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time for a free consultation.