Many workplace injuries happen suddenly when there is an accident. But some workplace injuries happen over time as a result of repeated use of one part of the body. Workers are left in pain and find it difficult to perform the duties of their jobs.
Commercial truck drivers are especially susceptible to this kind of injury, which is often seen as an occupational hazard. Drivers are entitled to compensation for their lost wages and medical expenses under New Jersey law.
The Risks Facing Truck Drivers
Commercial truck drivers spend hours sitting, often with incorrect or awkward postures, performing repetitive movements, lifting cargo, and experiencing whole body vibration. These are known factors that contribute to musculoskeletal pain and related disorders. Personal factors, such as fitness and job satisfaction, can also play a role.
Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Pain
Musculoskeletal pain is often caused by postural strain, repetitive movements, overuse and prolonged immobilization. Everyone experiences this pain differently, but common symptoms include:
- Muscles that feel like they have been pulled or overworked
- Body aches
- Muscles that twitch or burn
- Sleep disturbances
Treatments for Pain
Doctors can diagnose this pain through a physical exam and by studying your medical history. Depending on the results of the examination, a doctor may prescribe the following treatments:
- Injections with anesthetic or anti-inflammatory medications in or around the painful sites
- Exercise, specifically muscle strengthening and stretching
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Acupuncture or acupressure
- Relaxation or biofeedback techniques
- Osteopathic manipulation
- Chiropractic care
- Therapeutic massage
How Drivers are Protected
Repetitive stress injury is the name given to a group of conditions caused when too much stress is placed on one area of the body, such as in the case of musculoskeletal pain. This kind of injury is considered an occupational exposure under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act. If you’re a commercial truck driver who developed a chronic condition over the course of your career, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These include coverage of medical treatment for the injury, as well as wage benefits if you are unable to return to work.
Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney.