Here at Accident Advice Helpline, we often get asked if it is possible to claim personal injury compensation for tendonitis, and the answer is generally yes, if somebody else is responsible. Tendonitis is generally a workplace injury, and it’s more common than you might think. Yet many people either don’t realise that they can make a claim for tendonitis or assume that they need to suffer in silence as their injuries are not severe enough. Tendon injuries can be painful and debilitating, and if you have suffered from one, you should seek advice from a personal injury lawyer, to explore your options.
What is tendonitis?
Tendonitis occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed or starts to deteriorate over a period of time, and left unchecked it can get worse. It’s usually caused by carrying out repetitive tasks. A task can be considered as ‘highly repetitive’ if the cycle time is 30 seconds or less – and you’ll be able to think of many jobs which are repetitive in nature. Tendonitis can be painful and occupational tendonitis can affect those who work in jobs requiring continuous repetitive motions or excessive manual handling. The areas of the body most commonly affected are the wrists, fingers, knees, elbows, thighs and shoulder, and such cases can lead to a claim for tendonitis.
What are the symptoms of tendonitis?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in America over 70,000 people miss work each year due to tendonitis, and it can be a painful condition. Symptoms can include:
- Weakness or stiffness in the affected body part
- Difficulty moving the affected body part
- Visible swelling
There isn’t always visible swelling, or a visible injury at all with tendonitis, so it is important to see your GP for a proper medical diagnosis if you think you may be affected.
Treatment for tendonitis
Many minor cases of occupational tendonitis can be treated at home after a diagnosis from your doctor, and you can use ice packs to reduce swelling, over-the-counter painkillers and a supportive bandage, as well as plenty of rest, to help your injury to heal. More severe cases may require medical treatment and options include:
- Corticosteroid injections
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
Surgery is only recommended as a last resort for tendonitis, as it can cause complications such as tendon ruptures and scarring. If you do undergo surgery, this would be a factor in your claim for tendonitis. There are also natural treatments available such as following an anti-inflammatory diet (which can help to improve symptoms), seeing a physiotherapist or chiropractor and taking supplements such as Omega-3, which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Which occupations are most at risk of tendonitis?
Any job which involves repetitive tasks could put you at risk of developing a tendon injury and work-related musculoskeletal disorders account for a large percentage of lost work days in the UK. You could be carrying out repetitive tasks whilst working in a food processing or electronics factory, or perhaps you spend your days audio typing in an office for nine hours a day. Other, physical retail roles such as working in a fishmongers or butchers can also put you at risk of tendonitis. According to HSE statistics, there were six cases of tendonitis reported to doctors in the UK between 2002 and 2008 from butchers who were carrying out repetitive tasks such as chopping, lifting and cutting meat on a daily basis.
How long does it take to recover from tendonitis?
Anybody who has suffered a tendon injury will know that it can take time to recover. Although most minor cases will heal within a few weeks with rest and perhaps some physiotherapy, more severe wrist or finger tendonitis can take up to or more than six months to heal – which could mean a serious amount of time off work, depending on your job. If you work in a role where you are unable to go to work due to your injuries, you can be left struggling financially, even if your employer pays you statutory sick pay. So what can you do? Well, you could find you’re eligible to make a claim for tendonitis against your current or former employer.
Claiming compensation for tendonitis at work
When you go to work each day, you expect to be safe – and it is your employer’s duty to ensure that you are safe whilst carrying out your duties. This means that if they put you at risk and you have developed the condition as a result, you could make a claim for tendonitis with Accident Advice Helpline. ‘Putting you at risk’ could mean anything from being short-staffed so you have to work extra-long shifts or not allowing you sufficient rest breaks from repetitive activities. There is a three-year time limit in place to make a personal injury claim, and it’s a good idea to keep as much evidence as you can relating to your accident, injury and treatment.
For example, copies of prescriptions, medical reports and your work accident report can all be useful when it comes to claiming compensation, and it is also helpful to record details of your injuries and the treatment you have received. This allows Accident Advice Helpline to assess the impact your injuries have had on your life and in turn work out how much compensation you could be entitled to.
How Accident Advice Helpline can help you claim for tendonitis
If you’re considering making a claim for tendonitis, or you are wondering whether you are eligible to claim, then it’s worth getting in touch with us. We have over 16 years’ experience helping employees to claim compensation after workplace accidents, and we have handled hundreds of claims for tendonitis. The best way to find out how much compensation you could be entitled to is to take the 30-second test on our website today. Or if you would prefer to speak to us, you can call our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
All advice we offer is given on a no-obligation basis, so there is no pressure to proceed with a claim, should you change your mind at any point. Remember that you have three years from the date of your accident to make a claim, so don’t wait too long to get in touch with us.
Date Published: November 3, 2013
Author: David Brown