Workplace injuries are not always apparent, and many people suffer pain and discomfort due to the functional conditions of their jobs. Although some jobs may not be physically demanding, they might put employees in a situation where they develop diseases or conditions from circumstances specifically related to the type of job they or their work environment.
State laws protect injured employees and offer workers’ compensation benefits to cover the losses associated with on-the-job injuries. One such injury, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), is a wrist and hand nerve disorder. It occurs most commonly in office workers and other employees whose jobs necessitate repetitive hand motions.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exactly?
The carpal tunnel is a small, narrow structure in the wrist through which the median nerve and tendons pass. The median nerve’s function is to control movement in the first three fingers and thumb, but not the little finger. In carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve is squeezed and compressed as it passes through the wrist.
When this nerve is pressured, it can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or aching in the hand. These symptoms often develop gradually and are initially worse at night. Sometimes the achiness and discomfort may extend up to the arm, shoulder, or even neck. CTS can make it challenging to grip or grasp objects and perform tasks such as fastening buttons, as well. Work activities can cause CTS, and CTS-associated symptoms can affect an individual’s ability to work.
Who is Likely to Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Factory workers who make the same hand motions repeatedly are vulnerable to carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers who sit at a desk and operate a mouse may be especially susceptible to it. Since carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by nerve pressure and irritation, it can worsen over time as the movements bringing it on are repeated over and over. Though it may seem harmless at first glance, carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful and uncomfortable disorder that can leave a worker suffering lifelong consequences.
Can I Seek Workers’ Compensation Benefits for CTS?
The most significant challenge that workers face in the fight to receive workers’ compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome or other injuries is proving the injury is related to the work you do. Injured people often work for employers and companies who want to reduce their financial losses by proving the injury occurred elsewhere.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is not like a specific accident that causes an injury. It is a progressive condition that develops and worsens over time. Isolated accidents are easier to investigate, analyze, and prove. Insurance companies may argue that your carpal tunnel syndrome came from other causes, including pre-existing conditions or other activities you participated in outside of work.
Despite any misconceptions, carpal tunnel is a genuine injury, and workers affected by this syndrome deserve help in fighting for the reimbursement they are owed. With a workers’ compensation injury lawyer on your side, you can increase your chances of winning your workers’ comp case exponentially. Call a St. Lucie County work injury lawyer today to schedule a consultation.
Thanks to the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.