As a carpenter, you regularly use your hands and arms to do your job. Recently, you've been having a difficult time with weakness and pain in your elbows, which has taken a toll on your work. You've called off twice and had to rearrange clients because of the issue.
You may be dealing with a condition known as epicondylitis. In layman's terms, it's tennis elbow or golfer's elbow.
In the early stages, this condition can often be reversed with rest and changes in the way you work, but in later stages, it can be harder to treat. Sometimes, it can be bad enough to require physical therapy or surgery.
Who is most likely to develop epicondylitis?
Usually, it's people who overuse the joint, such as athletes, carpenters, construction workers and others who often use their arms and hands to work.
What are the common symptoms of epicondylitis?
Every case is a little different, but there are some common symptoms that you may notice if you have epicondylitis.
Common symptoms include:
- Trouble moving the wrist with any kind of force
- Pain that intensifies with squeezing or shaking
- Numbness or pain that radiates downward toward the hands
- Severe pain on the inside of the elbow
What should you do if you think you've developed this repetitive-stress injury?
If you think you've developed epicondylitis, it's important to let your employer know and seek medical care. Workers' compensation may cover your medical treatment, prescriptions, physical therapy and any medical devices that you need. If you need to retrain for a new position, it may also cover your vocational rehabilitation.