Have you developed tennis elbow from work? For people aged between 35 and 54, tennis elbow is the second-most common injury to occur to the upper part of the musculoskeletal system. It’s also an injury you could easily sustain at work if you constantly do the same tasks and you are involved in lots of manual handling activities.
The medical name for this condition is lateral epicondylitis. Muscles, tendons and ligaments all have important jobs to do throughout our bodies. We never really pay much attention to them unless we strain, sprain or simply overuse them. In the case of tennis elbow, it’s overuse that is the problem. This can affect one or both elbows, and will lead to pain when you try moving your lower arm:
- When gripping something
- When twisting your arm
- When bending your arm
Information on the NHS website further reveals full extension of the affected arm might also be difficult. Pain can vary from discomfort when you use the affected arm to feeling pain all the time. If you have tennis elbow from work, you may notice it flares up every time you perform the activity that triggered it to begin with.
How common is it to suffer tennis elbow from work?
Exact figures for cases of tennis elbow aren’t available, but there are three common reasons why injuries occur in any workplace, one of which is manual handling. Musculoskeletal disorders are also found to be among the most commonly-reported work-related conditions people experience. Getting tennis elbow from work will undoubtedly be among these conditions.
If you suspect you have tennis elbow from work, you should see your GP as soon as possible. They will be able to confirm if you do have this condition, and they should recommend a course of action to minimise the chance of any further pain or injury. You may have to change duties, or even have time off work to recover, particularly if the injury is a serious one. A visit to the GP also means you will have an official record of the injury and your diagnosis. This will be useful later if you decide to try and make a compensation claim to seek a financial award for your injury.
How can you tell if your injury was caused by negligence?
40% of all musculoskeletal injuries caused in the workplace affect the upper body. Tennis elbow from work would be included in this statistic. Some workers are more prone than others to receive manual handling injuries. For instance, those who work in occupations that require regular and intensive use of the arms would be considered most at risk. Think of plasterers, carpenters and manual workers, for instance, such as those who work in factories.
However, with that said, it is perfectly possible for anyone to suffer tennis elbow from work. Even those who work in offices might potentially be at risk, particularly if they are prone to conditions affecting the tendons to begin with. Think about office workers who may regularly handle large files, fetching and carrying them while doing the filing. Even this relatively innocent situation could result in the chance of developing tennis elbow from work.
Were all health and safety rules correctly followed?
This is an important consideration when you’re wondering about the likelihood of claiming any amount of compensation. Every employer, no matter the industry they work in, must ensure their employees can work in safe surroundings. This doesn’t just mean preventing circumstances in which accidents may happen. It also means identifying risks associated with conditions that may develop over a longer period. Manual handling injuries are a classic example of this, and musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs, are part of this type of injury. While they can occur suddenly, conditions such as tennis elbow tend to develop over a longer period, through overuse of that area of the body.
Risk assessments are important in all jobs, no matter whether they are physical in nature or not. By assessing the working conditions, any risks to health and all hazards present can be identified. When this is done, steps can be taken to reduce each risk accordingly. A good example would be for the employer to make sure every employee receives manual handling training, not to mention regular refresher courses. This simple step alone could prevent many disorders from developing.
Certain professions are at greater risk of this type of injury than others. For example, those working in elementary storage occupations represented 11% of the total number of handling injuries recorded in 2013-14. However, every employer must take the appropriate steps to reduce the risk in whatever profession they practise.
Do you qualify for a compensation award?
The only way to find out is to seek professional advice from a personal injury solicitor – ideally someone with experience in assessing claims like yours. When you contact Accident Advice Helpline, you can be sure you are in good hands. We’ve been helping people who have been injured in the workplace for over 16 years, and we’ve developed an online test that asks just the most important questions at this stage. You could find out within 30 seconds whether you have a good chance of receiving a compensation award.
To learn more, you can also call us on 0800 689 0500 to speak to a trained advisor, or call 0333 500 0993 from your mobile to reach the same team. No-obligation advice is given initially, and you’ll soon understand whether your tennis elbow at work could lead to a claim being made for you. There’s no need to worry about how much it might cost either, since we will take on your claim on a no-win, no-fee basis. That means you’re not at risk for solicitors’ fees to be paid should your claim fail. The effects tennis elbow can have on your daily life can be pronounced, especially if you’re suffering a lot of pain from the injury. Call us today to see if you do have a right to seek compensation. If so, you may be glad you called.
Date Published: October 16, 2013
Author: David Brown