Question:I've had tennis elbow off and on for three years. My job in a meatpacking plant requires me to turn pieces of meat from one side to the other as it passes by on a conveyor belt. Would changing jobs help me get rid of this problem?
It might. You may also need some other intervention. If your symptoms are better after a couple days off work (or after a longer break or vacation), then changing jobs may be the answer. Changing to a lighter-duty job is advised.
In a recent study comparing worker's compensation (WC) patients with non-WC patients, both groups went back to work after surgery for tennis elbow. The WC group had to change jobs more often. Some patients could find other work with the same employer. Others had to go outside the place of business and find a different job.
There are other ways to treat this problem, too. Anti-inflammatories, bracing or splinting, cortisone injections, and physical therapy are all treatment methods that can work.
f you haven't seen a doctor or physical therapist for the problem, consider making an appointment and getting an evaluation. After three years you have a chronic problem that may require longer to treat.Marshal L. Balk, MD, et al. Outcome of Surgery for Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow): Effect of Worker's Compensation. In The American Journal of Orthopedics. March 2005. Vol. 34. No. 3. Pp. 122-126.
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