It’s official: The most common cause of workplace injury is working too hard. Okay, perhaps that is an extreme way to put it, but records continuously show through the years that the most common cause of workplace injury is overexertion. Overexertion includes tasks involving repetitive motion, which in turn, can temporarily, or even permanently, injure muscles, nerves, ligaments, tendons and even your bones.

Yes, that is right. Overexertion can be a culprit of injury to your bones. The bony skeleton is a remarkable organ that serves as a strong structural function, however, like most tissues in the body your bones has its limits and can break or fracture. One of the major types of fractures is stress fractures also commonly known as a micro fracture. Stress fractures differ from micro fractures in the way they occur. Stress fractures being more of an issue of overuse or misuse where micro fractures are caused mostly by trauma.

Like most tissues in the body, bones are constantly renewing and replacing itself, a process called bone remodeling. With stress fractures, the name says it all: these fractures occur when bone tissue has to absorb more weight and impact than it can handle, tiring the muscles over time and allowing more force on the bone. The bone becomes stressed causing it to crack in the bone. This can occur over time in a well-conditioned bone that is overused, or suddenly in an under conditioned bone that is placed under undue stress in a short period.

It is a partial fracture rather than a complete fracture and they mostly occur in the weight bearing-bones of the feet, ankles, and lower legs, though they can occur in other parts of the upper body.
Sure, stress fractures are commonly associated with athletes, but the truth is certain professions are at risk. Workers in the medical profession, hosts and servers, dancers and performers, laborers and anyone who spends an extended amount of time on their feet and moving as part of their job are at risk of a stress fracture.

These stress fractures are usually tiny injuries that later become compound, making it difficult to diagnose. Even more so, it can be difficult when proving the stress fracture occurred because of an employees work. Being able to identify the specific activity that caused your stress fracture may entitle you to worker’s compensation benefits under Illinois law.

If you are experiencing foot pain as a result of your employment, it is important to let your employer know. A failure to report your problem within 45 days of when you know or should know it’s work related could cause you to lose your benefits.  Symptoms can include localized pain or pain with weight bearing does eventually go away with rest. Consulting your physician can help address the problem early. If your pain does persist, please contact us for free after seeking medical attention to learn more about your potential workman’s compensation case.