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Can Your Job Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome afflicts more than 1 in 20 adults in the United States. It is the basis for many workers’ compensation claims.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

“Carpal Tunnel Syndrome [CTS] occurs when the nerve that runs from the forearm to the wrist becomes squeezed or compressed.”(HealthDay.com)

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms, as well as extent and severity of pain vary from patient to patient. Most patients experience one or more of the following:

  • Burning, tingling, or numbness in fingers
  • Pain in the arm, wrist, and/or hand
  • Difficulty moving fingers, grasping, or carrying
  • Weakness in the hands 

What Causes CTS?

Most cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are caused by repetitive motion of the wrist. But, arthritis, wrist injuries and certain diseases (for example, Lupus) can cause CTS as well.

Research shows that between 2007 and 2014, the highest rates of CTS were reported in three industries – “textile, fabric finishing and coating mills; apparel accessories and other apparel manufacturing; and animal slaughtering and processing.” (HealthDay.com)

In these types of jobs, employees use their hands for forceful and/or repetitive tasks, lift heavy items repeatedly, or maintain an awkward posture on the job.

It is usually difficult to ascertain exactly what caused the CTS, but there is strong evidence that what a person does for a living played a huge part. If not the actual root of the CTS, the job probably brought the problem to light, and maybe even made it worse.

Intervention

Employers can intervene and prevent CTS, or at least lessen symptoms by:

  • Improving ergonomics so that a worker’s wrist isn’t positioned at unnatural angles
  • Making changes to machinery so that less force has to be applied or vibration is minimized
  • Allowing employees to have regular breaks to alleviate repetitive stress

Employees can help themselves by:

  • Using a splint when not working
  • Taking anti-inflammatories to decrease strain and inflammation

Professional Treatment for CTS

Steroid injections at the site will decrease inflammation and pressure on the nerve. If that doesn’t work, carpal tunnel release surgery is recommended.

The Law Offices of David L. Hood – Representing Injured Workers in South Carolina

The Law Offices of David L. Hood have been fighting for the rights of injured workers in North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, Charleston and all across South Carolina for over 25 years. We have a dedicated team that will strive to take care of your claim professionally and treat you with respect. Over the years we’ve represented hundreds of injured workers and their families, working hard to get them the medical treatment and compensation they deserve.

To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our offices to set up a free initial consultation. If you choose to work with us, we will handle your case on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we make a recovery for you. To get in touch with us, you can call our offices at (843) 491-6025 or email us here.

 

Other online references used for this article:

https://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2018/12/carpal-tunnel-an-injury-3-times-more-common-in-women-workers/

https://www.disability-benefits-help.org/working-ability/carpal-tunnel-syndrome

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