As is the case with just about everything, the answer to just how long it takes to fully recover from a WEAR and TEAR injury that occurred due to repetitive motion at work is: It depends. The length of recovery when it comes to overuse injuries is entirely dependent on the severity, the individual’s medical history, age, general health, and a multitude of associated factors. However, there are some general principles that are broadly applicable when it comes to recovering or at least improving the symptoms and limitations related to repetitive use injuries.
Whereas acute or localized WEAR and TEAR conditions that are relatively minor can be more straightforward to assess, diagnose, and treat effectively with proactive, early intervention treatment protocols, it is far more challenging to fully recover from chronic medical conditions stemming from WEAR and TEAR injuries. Typically, if the affected employee stops the aggravating activity quickly and makes the appropriate ergonomic and rehabilitative adjustments to alleviate the underlying causes of their pain, then the WEAR and TEAR symptoms will usually cease between two to three weeks. On the other hand, if the underlying injury was particularly traumatic or had been gradually accumulating for years on end without being addressed (as is usually the case when it comes to WEAR and TEAR workers’ compensation claims), then the recovery process is much longer.
Physiotherapists segment the typical progression of overuse and repetitive stress injuries into four distinct phases. Generally, the given stage that a certain WEAR and TEAR injury progresses to is ultimately determinative of the approximate recovery time:
- Stage One: The pain recedes with proper warm-up and stretching. Proper injury diagnosis and treatment will enable the individual to return to full work status as long as the injury is not aggravated.
- Stage Two: The pain may recede during the warm-up, but returns near the end of the work day or activity. The activity or motion may be continued, but modified in such a way as to reduce physical stress while the underlying injury is treated.
- Stage Three: The discomfort gradually progresses the more the given activity or motion is performed. The activity or motion should be avoided altogether until a proper treatment plan is implemented.
- Stage Four: Persistent pain and discomfort occur even after the motion or activity is not being performed. Medical attention should be sought immediately. Only when the symptoms return to Stage One level should a return to full work status be attempted.
Chronic WEAR and TEAR conditions are characterized by multifactorial syndromes with some WEAR and TEAR injury victims eventually developing a related chronic pain condition that impacts virtually every facet of their day-to-day lives. Fortunately, there is good news: WEAR and TEAR or overuse injuries are generally very responsive to treatment in its early phases. Therefore, it is essential that you seek medical attention as soon as the symptoms begin to present themselves, and that you are responsible in following whatever treatment plan your medical provider prescribes for you to alleviate your discomfort. Doing so will pay off in the long run and could save you untold amounts of time, money, and effort.
Early Intervention Is Critical
In most cases, the old adage, “The early bird gets the worm,” holds true. Researchers have discovered that intervention of physiotherapy protocols for acute soft tissue ailments within the initial 24-48 hours of the trauma is ideal. Benefits of taking early corrective action include:
- Alleviating pain levels faster via joint mobility exercises, soft tissue massage, electrotherapy, etc.
- Enhancing scar tissue formation utilizing protocols to control the direction in which it grows so it does not limit range of movement in the future
- Returning to full-time work status quicker and more sustainably
- Correcting any preexisting biomechanical issues that may be affecting movement and increasing chances of re-injury
The first and most obvious corrective action that should be taken when dealing with an overuse or WEAR and TEAR scenario is rest. Rest from an uncomfortable motion or action is key when it comes to the early stages of injury prevention. More specifically, a worker experiencing the initial indicators of a WEAR and TEAR injury should practice what is often referred to as “active rest.” The general idea is that you should avoid any activity that results in pain for at least two to three days before gradually reintroducing movement as tolerable.
Contact a Trusted New Jersey WEAR and TEAR Injury Attorney Today
Just like early treatment and rehabilitation is essential when it comes to preventing and recovering from WEAR and TEAR injuries, it is equally important for you to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Having a qualified workers’ comp attorney by your side can help you maximize your chances of receiving the disability benefits you deserve to get you on the road to recovery.
Petro Cohen, P.C. has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of workers’ comp. The firm received the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell – the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials – in Professional Excellence and Ethical Standards and Legal Ability, and has been recognized on the “Best Law Firms” list in New Jersey for workers’ compensation since 2010.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys have over 150 years of combined experience in providing exemplary legal counsel to the residents of Northfield and surrounding communities, and will work tirelessly to make sure your rights are protected so that you obtain the full benefits to which you may be entitled. The head of Petro Cohen’s Workers’ Compensation Department, Frank Petro, along with firm attorneys, Suzanne Holz Meola, Terri Hiles, and Daniel Rosenthal, have successfully handled thousands of litigated workers’ comp cases throughout New Jersey, including hundreds of WEAR and TEAR claims. This experience and winning track record means that you are going to have a skilled New Jersey work injury lawyer by your side every step of the way.
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We have four convenient offices in southern New Jersey including Northfield, Cape May Court House, Hamilton, and Cherry Hill. Our offices are open 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM Monday through Friday, with weekend and evening appointments available as need. In addition, we are available 24/7 via Live Chat on our website.
To schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our workers’ comp attorneys, contact Petro Cohen, P.C. today at 888.675.7607.