Learn if your elbow injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits and how to prove it’s work-related
Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are notable injuries that can occur in the workplace, particularly in roles that involve repetitive arm and wrist actions. Being aware of how these conditions might connect to your work duties, as well as understanding your entitlements under workers’ compensation, is essential.
Unfortunately, proving that these types of elbow conditions are work-related can be a challenge. At Chappell, Chappell & Newman, we specialize in providing legal guidance and assistance with these specific workplace injury concerns, helping workers gather the evidence they need to recover the compensation they deserve.
Reach out to us to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help with your claim.
What’s the difference between golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow?
Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are both types of tendonitis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the tendons, though each affects a distinct area of the elbow:
- Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, occurs on the inside of the elbow and is characterized by pain at the point where the forearm muscles connect to the inside of the elbow.
- Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, affects the outside of the elbow, causing pain where the forearm muscle tendons attach to the outer bony area.
Are golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow overuse injuries?
Yes, both conditions are typically overuse injuries. They result from repetitive motions of the wrist and arm, which create stress and inflammation in the tendons. This is why they’re common in athletes like golfers and tennis players, but they can also occur in various work environments where similar repetitive motions are involved.
Can tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow be a work-related injury?
Yes, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are both considered types of occupational diseases or conditions that develop over time from specific job duties, particularly in professions that require repetitive arm and wrist motions. Tennis elbow typically arises from repetitive wrist extension or forearm twisting, while golfer’s elbow is often a result of repetitive gripping or wrist flexion tasks.
Occupations such as construction, roofing, manufacturing, transportation, carpentry, plumbing, painting and even office work involving extensive computer use can put individuals at a higher risk for these conditions.
How do I know if my elbow injury is serious?
If you experience persistent pain, swelling, or stiffness in your elbow, or if these symptoms are impacting your ability to perform daily tasks or work duties, it’s essential to seek medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the condition from worsening and facilitate a quicker recovery.
How long does it take to heal from tennis or golfer’s elbow?
The healing time for these conditions can vary depending on their severity and how quickly they’re treated.
Generally, with proper rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and possibly medical interventions like corticosteroid shots as well as shock wave or ultrasound therapy to relieve pain and encourage faster healing, improvement can be seen within a few weeks to a few months.
However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary, making complete recovery a longer process.
Is it OK to work through tennis elbow?
Working through tennis elbow is not recommended as it can exacerbate the condition and prolong recovery. Rest and avoiding activities that worsen the pain are crucial parts of the healing process.
If your job involves activities that aggravate your condition, you should consider discussing modifications or alternative duties with your employer to avoid further injury.
How do I prove my tennis or golfer’s elbow injury was caused by my job?
Proving that your tennis or golfer’s elbow injury is job-related involves several key steps:
- Medical documentation. Obtain a thorough medical evaluation from an employer-approved health care professional who can provide a clear diagnosis of your condition. The medical report should detail how the symptoms of tennis or golfer’s elbow are consistent with the types of activities you perform at work.
- Document your work activities. Compile detailed records of your daily work tasks that involve repetitive arm and wrist movements. This could include specific actions, the frequency and duration of these activities, and any relevant job descriptions or manuals that highlight these tasks as part of your role.
- Expert testimony. In some cases, it may be beneficial to seek testimony from occupational health experts or ergonomists who can provide an objective analysis of how your job duties are conducive to developing these conditions.
- Employment history. You’ll also want to present a comprehensive history of your employment, especially if you have a long tenure in a role that involves repetitive motions known to cause tennis or golfer’s elbow. Establishing a timeline that correlates the onset or worsening of your symptoms with your current job duties is crucial. This can include noting any increases in work intensity or changes in tasks that coincided with the development of symptoms.
- Previous medical history. Provide any relevant medical history to demonstrate that the injury was related to your work activities.
Please note that if you believe your elbow condition is related to your work, it’s important to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible, but no more than 90 days after receiving a diagnosis.
Since it’s not uncommon for employers to initially deny these types of workers’ compensation claims, seeking legal advice can be beneficial in navigating the complexities of these cases, especially in situations where the connection between the injury and job duties is not immediately apparent.
Suffering from an occupational elbow injury and need help with your SC workers’ comp claim?
Dealing with golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow can be challenging, especially when it impacts your ability to work. If you’re in South Carolina and facing these issues due to a work-related injury, Chappell, Chappell & Newman is here to assist you.
Our experienced Columbia work injury attorneys understand the complexities of workers’ compensation cases and can provide the guidance and support you need to secure your rights and benefits. We’re committed to helping you navigate your claim effectively, ensuring you get the compensation and care you deserve.