Carpal tunnel is one of the more commonly seen work-related injuries in the US. It affects approximately 1-5% of the adult population, or roughly 3 million people in the US each year. Even though workplaces handle these claims regularly, you still need to make sure your needs are taken care of. To make sure you are treated fairly with workplace-related carpal tunnel injuries, contact Workers’ Comp Specialist Joseph Kritzer. He has the experience needed to navigate the California legal system and ensure you receive proper compensation for your condition.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And What Causes It?
Carpal tunnel is a condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the wrist and hand. Other symptoms include weakness or clumsiness in that hand. An individual can start to experience symptoms when pressure builds on the median nerve in the wrist. The pressure is what triggers the pain, numbness, and tingling. The median nerve is one of the major nerves in the hand.
A few things can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome, but the most likely reason is continuous repetitive motions at work. Using your hands and wrists to complete the same movements repeatedly can put stress on the median nerve, causing the swelling and narrowing of the tunnel, thus triggering the condition. Extreme hand and wrist positions can also trigger this condition. While the condition could damage any part of your hand, very rarely do doctors see this condition impact the pinky finger. A person can have this condition in both hands/wrists at the same time.
Other health issues such as pregnancy, heredity, and certain health conditions can also play a role in exacerbating this condition.
Who Is Most At-Risk For Carpal Tunnel?
Repetitive stress/strain injuries are prevalent in many fields. However, carpal tunnel is seen frequently in office workers. Individuals who work in office settings perform similar tasks each day. The material may be different, but they spend roughly 8 hours everyday typing and/or inputting data. Performing these hand and wrist motions every day for years can cause carpal tunnel. Anyone who uses their hands and wrists to complete the same functions daily can be at risk for this condition. That can include factory workers such as those who pack boxes or food processing plants.
Studies also seem to show that women are more at risk for carpal tunnel than men while performing the same tasks. Women between 30-60 are diagnosed more frequently than men. This could be in part that women are more likely to work in an office setting. However, men working the same job aren’t diagnosed at the same rate women are for the same tasks. Doctors don’t understand why this happens.
How To Treat Carpal Tunnel
Initially, doctors suggest wrist braces as a way to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Splints and braces, along with resting your wrists will be the first recommended treatments. Steroids and anti-inflammatory medications could also be utilized. If this doesn’t help alleviate symptoms, surgery may be needed to improve your condition. The objective of the surgery is to give your nerve relief from the pressure.
Healing completely from surgery can take several months. During this time, you may need to do some physical therapy to regain your wrist’s strength and functionality. Any soreness and weakness could take several weeks to dissipate. If your condition was severe, you may not restore the full function of your hand and/or wrist and be completely pain-free. But surgery will significantly improve your quality of life and the amount of discomfort you deal with daily.
Challenges With Carpal Tunnel Workers’ Comp Claims
Carpal tunnel can be a painful condition. But other than wearing braces, the condition is not apparent. This condition, like many other stress-related injuries, is what can be called “silent injuries.” This means that a person can suffer from a serious ailment, but others can’t see the extent of the pain. This can make workers’ comp claims challenging to prove to an employer.
Another issue that one can encounter with workers’ comp claims is proving to an employer that their work functions and place of employment caused the injury. Employers can reject and fight to pay your claim without solid proof and medical evidence that the work you perform for them caused your injury.
Get Started On Your Claim Today!
To make sure your employer takes responsibility for your carpal tunnel, schedule your appointment with Workers’ Comp Specialist Joseph Kritzer. He will make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to for your workers’ comp claim.