Can a Repetitive Stress Injury cause Permanent Disability?

Workplace injuries that result in permanent disability are often assumed to be those that result from one sudden, unfortunate moment. But in reality, many injuries at work happen over a much longer period of time due to repetitive motions that slowly lead to significant injuries. These repetitive stress injuries can be just as debilitating and may cause disabilities that make it impossible to work. If you struggle with such an injury and it impacts your ability to work, you could qualify for disability payments.


Stress Injury

What is a Repetitive Stress Injury?


These are injuries that are caused by repeated stress to the body. Probably the most well-known injury of this type is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is quite common among office workers and those that spend a lot of time on the computer. But it is possible to damage the nerves, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues while performing most tasks if you do them over and over, day after day, year after year.


Common injuries caused by repeated stress include:


  • Tendinitis
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Trigger finger
  • Bursitis
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel


Can Injuries from Repeated Stress Cause Permanent Disability?


Most injuries caused by repetitive stress are not permanent. It is usually possible to successfully treat the injury through a combination of medical treatments and changes in movement patterns. The change in movement patterns—like improving ergonomics at work, or ceasing the problem movement completely—is particularly important for successful treatment. However, some people diagnosed with injuries caused by repetitive stress will not recover from their injuries. These individuals can be considered permanently disabled.


Is It Possible to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits due to Repetitive Injuries?


The Social Security Administration focuses on the ability of applicants to work and earn income when determining benefits. If you struggle with a repetitive stress injury and are unable to work in the same capacity as you were before—or are unable to work at all—you may be able to get disability benefits.