Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Repetitive motion is the second most common injury in California workers, affecting more than 30,000 annually. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a type of repetitive motion injury that results in injury to the median nerve, which runs between the palm and the forearm. Carpal Tunnel injuries can affect the fingers, wrists, hands and arms. The symptoms of CTS usually begin gradually, with numbness, tingling, burning or itching in the palm and fingers or pain after repetitive actions such as typing, carrying, or manipulating objects. It’s usually particularly noticeable in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. You may notice increasing weakness in your grip as well.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
While there is no clear-cut single cause of carpal tunnel, repeated motions of the wrist can cause swelling of the median nerve, which causes the symptoms. This may happen with repeated use of hand tools, the vibration of power tools, improper hand positioning while using a mouse or keyboard, or other repeated motions of the wrist.
Some occupations more prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Office work involving a keyboard
- Assembly line work
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed in a doctor’s office. Your doctor will examine your hands, arms, shoulders, and neck and also attempt to rule out any other conditions like an injury or arthritis. Your doctor may also perform tests to rule out diabetes, order x-rays to rule out arthritis, manipulate your wrist to see if numbness or tingling occurs, and perform nerve conduction studies.
Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is diagnosed early, it may be easier to treat and result in shorter recovery time. Your treatment may begin with basic remedies like wrist braces. You may need to wear them for at least three to four weeks to see improvement in your symptoms and you may need to wear them at night. A physical therapist can work with you to do exercises that can strengthen the hand and wrist muscles. In some cases, you may need steroids to lessen the swelling and pain medication and acupuncture can help as well. For severe cases of CTS, you may need carpal tunnel release surgery.
Should I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you believe that your carpal tunnel syndrome is related to work activities, you should file a workers’ compensation claim. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can interfere with your ability to perform your job and gets progressively worse without treatment, leading to permanent impairment. If you still aren’t sure if you should file a claim, give RSnyder Law Firm, PC a call at (949) 484-0175 for a free consultation. We can help evaluate your case and give you your options for pursuing a claim. Our experienced workers’ compensation professionals have been fighting for the rights of Southern California workers for years.
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