Sprains & Strains

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Advocates

The Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates have focused on workers’ compensation cases for over 20 years. We are dedicated to fighting for the benefits employees are entitled to as a result of work-related injuries, including job-related sprains and strains. Our Boston office represents injured workers across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

Sprains vs. Strains

Ligaments are strong bands of connective tissue joining bones at the joint. They support and stabilize the joints, allowing the body to bend and move. The over-stretching or tearing of a ligament is known as a sprain. Sprains can occur in a variety of joints and body parts, including the:

  • Ankle
  • Foot
  • Knee
  • Thumb
  • Wrist

Strains, on the other hand, refer to torn tendons that connect muscles to bone. They also describe the over-stretching of muscles that are joined bone by fibrous cords of connective tissue. Strains are most common in body parts including the:

  • Hamstring
  • Lower back
  • Hand
  • Elbow
  • Shoulder

Symptoms of both injuries generally include pain, bruising, and swelling around the affected area. A sprain may be indicated by a “popping” sound as the ligament tears; strains typically give rise to involuntary muscle spasms. Both injuries limit the ability to move.

Work Injuries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sprains and strains are the leading cause of injury and illness in every industry sector, accounting for over 40 percent of all injuries requiring time off work. Torn tendons and ligaments may be caused by a variety of work conditions, including:

  • Slip-and-falls
  • Overstretching
  • Sudden twisting
  • Hit/blow to body
  • Repetitive motion
  • Prolonged overuse
  • Extensive hand grip
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Inadequate rest breaks
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Holding awkward position

Another common cause of sprains and strains is sports. But unlike athletes, full-time workers often lack the conditioning, warm-up, and regular physical activity necessary to avoid injury. In fact, tired and overworked employees are more vulnerable to trauma and tears.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Massachusetts law imposes a “no fault” insurance system on employers that protects workers who suffer job-related injuries. Sprains and strains that are caused or exacerbated at work may be compensable injuries for which insurers must pay. Benefits may include compensation for:

  • Medical costs
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • Vocational retraining
  • Lost income caused by:
    • Partial disability
    • Temporary total disability
    • Permanent total incapacity
    • Permanent loss of function

Because sprains and strains can only heal with rest, immobilized patients may be out of work for weeks. The recovery period is even longer for chronic injuries exacerbated by work. Payments typically begin three to four weeks after the injury, and are based on the worker’s average weekly wage.

Obtaining Full Benefits

If you have suffered a sprain or strain at work, contact the Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates for help. Getting through the workers’ compensation administrative process requires persuasive representation at every step, from filing a claim to hearings on appeal. We seek full compensation for injured workers in Boston, Norfolk, Middlesex, Suffolk, Essex, Plymouth, Merrimack River and other counties. Call (800) 367-0871 for a free consultation or contact us online.