Osteoporosis (OA), or degenerative joint disease, is the most common chronic condition of the joints, affecting more than 3 million Americans every year. It is a disease in which the bones become brittle and is likely to break. In normal joints, cartilage covers the end of each joint providing a smooth motion and acts as a cushion between the bones. Osteoarthritis occurs when this cartilage deteriorates causing pain, swelling and problems with joint movement. Any joint is at risk but most commonly, it happens in the knees, hips, lower back and neck.

Several factors can contribute to the development of Osteoarthritis. Unknown to many, osteoporosis cases can be by ones genetic make-up or being over-weight. However, the most common known contributing factor is by wear and tear: Repetitive movements, pre-existing injuries to joints, long periods of standing or remaining sedentary or by overuse.  So of course we see a lot of work related osteoarthritis cases in Illinois.

Plenty of jobs can lead to this injury. Typing, assembly line work, high impact activities, construction, manual labor, constant lifting, bending, twisting, turning or standing, or the use of heavy equipment and tools all can cause or worsen osteoarthritis overtime.

Repetitive motion work injuries can be a serious detriment to your health and you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help cover medical bills, lost wages or monetary compensation. A pre-existing condition does not disqualify an injury as a work injury.  Under Illinois law you simply have to show that your job contributed in some way to your problem.

It is a long-term disease and is incurable lasting for years or even a lifetime. There is several available treatment options that will help manage the pain, stiffness and swelling, and help with improving flexibility and joint mobility.

• Physical Activity – Light physical activity such as walking or strengthening exercises helps maintain and improve join flexibility and reduce stiffness.
• Weight Management – Excess weight adds stress to weight-bearing joints.
• Stretching – Slow and gentle stretching is great for improved flexibility and lessening stiffness.
• Pain and Anti-inflammatory medications
• Physical and Occupational Therapy
• Natural and Alternative Therapies – Nutritional supplements, acupuncture, massages, and relaxation can naturally address symptoms.
• Surgery – Severely damaged joints may need surgery to repair or replace joints.

It’s important that you report it to your employer as soon as you are aware of the problem.  Given the time limitations and the complexity of filing, it is important you speak to a knowledgeable attorney a file a workers’ compensation claim.  If you want our help and a free consultation fill out our contact form or call us at 312-346-5578.