Does Tendonitis Qualify for Workers’ Comp?

Repetitive motions that your job requires you to do can cause an injury called tendonitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, tendonitis is inflammation of the cords in our bodies that attach our muscles to the bone. The condition causes pain and tenderness around a certain joint.

Though this condition can occur in any tendon, it is most common in:

  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Wrists
  • Knees
  • Heels

Tendonitis can usually be treated with rest, medicine, and physical therapy. But if you tear a tendon because you didn’t treat the injury in time, then you might need surgery.

Is Tendonitis Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

If you are currently suffering from tendonitis, you may wonder if you can collect workers’ comp payments while you heal.

The answer is usually yes. It is a repetitive stress injury and shows up often on valid workers’ comp claims. In fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows workers filed more than 17,000 claims in 2019 for repetitive motion/stress injuries.

On-the-job injuries or illnesses represent a large number of emergency department visits as well as primary care and clinical practices. Common musculoskeletal injuries that happen due to job duties include:

  • Shoulder impingement conditions (i.e., it hurts to lift your arms above your head or reach backwards)
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Carpal tunnel

These types of injuries are often linked with overuse of the hands and wrists and repetitive gripping requirements. (For example: Scooping ice cream or shaping loaves of bread for eight hours per day.) You are not alone if you suffer from tendonitis as a result of doing your job tasks exactly as required.

What Should I Do if I Have Tendonitis from Working?

First, get the medical care you need to address the issue from qualified professionals. This may include one or more of the following types of treatment for your tendonitis:

  • Rest
  • Braces
  • Cortisone shots
  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy

During your course of treatment, you may not be able to work.

There are many different kinds of repetitive stress injuries. So, your treatment will depend on which type of specific injury you suffer from, including:

All tendonitis causes inflammation of your tendons. So, rest in the form of time off work will often be important for you to heal. Each work-related injury is different, so your doctor will work to figure out if your injury is preexisting. Then, they’ll determine if it directly or indirectly related to your job. If it is, then your claim will likely fall under the workers’ compensation system.

While workers’ comp laws vary by state, most states require employers of every size to carry workers’ comp insurance. However, not all states do. Some states say a business must have at least five employees to require workers’ comp insurance. Also, if you work as a “contract employee” then you may not qualify for benefits.

How Can I Qualify for Workers’ Comp Payments?

To qualify, you’ll need to prove your repetitive stress injury was caused by work-related activities. Report your injury to your boss or manager as soon as possible. Then, get a doctor who can attest to the cause of your tendonitis to view and treat your injury. Last but not least, talk with an attorney who handles workers’ comp cases in your state about filing your claim.

IMPORTANT: File your claim in a timely manner. Doing so makes it easier to draw a connection between your tendonitis and the repeated stress movements at work that caused it.

When it is time to return to work, you have options that make hurting your affected tendon a second time much less likely. According to a 2022 study from the National Library of Medicine, many methods can reduce or prevent on-the-job injuries and improve outcomes for previously injured employees. These include the following:

  • Regular risk assessment of the work area
  • Ongoing safety training
  • Control banding
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Improved safety guards
  • Safety mechanisms on machinery
  • Improved safety barriers
  • Adjusted schedule or regular duties

Expert Workers’ Comp Claim Assistance Is Available

An experienced attorney can tell you if you have a viable case after a free workers’ comp evaluation. If you do, then you might be able to eventually collect benefits. If you want a nearby workers’ comp lawyer to review your tendonitis claim for free, we can help you. Every attorney we can connect you with offers free phone calls to discuss your claim questions Monday through Friday.

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Laura Schaefer is the author ofThe Teashop Girls,The Secret Ingredient, andLittler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at and