The problem with workman’s comp is that because insurance companies know all work related injuries are covered by it, they exclude coverage for work injuries. At least they have for me. And every time I go to the doctor with an injury that could possibly be work related the doctors ask me if it is work related so they know whether to charge your normal insurance or workman’s comp. However as soon as your company learns that you went to a doctor other than their recommended doctor for such injuries you get a call telling you that you have to switch to their doctor. From that point on you lose control until you have been treated by two of their doctors and can choose your own. Of course they never tell you about your right to choose your own. You have to find that out on your own. I guess a lawyer would know.
Because there are so many workers trying to game workman’s comp the companies are automatically in a mode of adversary to the patient and the doctors who get their business from the company are cognizant of this. Many of them are set up to do nothing but this kind of work and they need these referrals from companies. The doctor that recommended me to the Rheumatologist had initially told me that he had to release me. So I asked “What do you mean?” His answer to me was. "You’re obviously a smart guy so you should be able to figure out the position that I am in. Your company has been calling me on a regular basis." At the time I was on short term disability because I had come to the conclusion that I had to completely stop using my hands until the inflammation subsided as it kept getting worse otherwise. There was a project I was working on that no one else understood that had come to a complete stand still and the company wanted me back to complete it or they would have had to default. My boss didn't seem to understand the seriousness of my condition. When I finally did come back, after about 5 months, they assigned a person to me for a year to do all my typing. I would sit in a chair next to them and tell them what to do. For them it was not so much that they thought I was cheating as that they needed the work to be done. But the whole workman’s comp system is set up to cater to the employers demands as long as you are going to their recommended doctors.
I understand that there are a lot of people gaming the system but some people are actually injured. My mistake is that I did not understand that there is a war that is going on between the gamers and companies and thus I did not know that I was entering a battle field that I did not want to be on. That is why I always say that any injury I get is not work related even if it is. You simply do not what to go there.
RSI injuries can take a long time to heal if you let the inflammation get as bad as mine was before it is properly treated. In fact, I still have to type with perfect posture and I use a subset of all my fingers that I have learned are less likely to cause inflammation or the condition will come back and it has been 20 years. It is really never completely cured. That is why I am so careful about my back muscles because I don't want the same thing to happen there. My orthopedic surgeon told me at one point that patients in my situation usually get to the point where they understand their condition more than their doctor could in terms of what they can and cannot do because they are the ones feeling it and that all he can do is give guide lines but that we have to make the final decisions of what are our limititations are in the end because we are the ones getting the feedback from our bodies. When it comes to RSI, the “no pain no gain” attitude equals permanent damage. I had that attitude. I thought I would work though it. That after enough time my body would strengthen and get past it. I hugely regret having looked at it this way.
You would think that with all the RSI injuries they were getting on production lines in the early 1900s that doctors would understand better how to treat them but I’m guessing that the injuries became more rare until computers started to create issues and so modern doctors forgot what they once knew. Now I suspect that this is not the case anymore but I haven’t had to see a doctor for this now that I understand how to keep it under control. In all fairness, it would not be fair to expect doctors to understand what they rarely see. However, even though it was rare at the time, this one doctor I saw, who specializes in sport injuries, seemed to know exactly what to do. Maybe he had seen it in athletes who over use their hard tissues by working out too much and could relate to how I got there. Who would have thought that a sport injury doctor would be the most qualified to understand computer related RSI injuries? However after I was treated successfully by him my company started sending all such cases to him and he was curing them and everyone I talked to loved his work. Not because he was likeable. They guy was like a computer with zero personality. They liked the results.