Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very common work injury for employees that repetitively use their hands and fingers at work. It is a work injury that is caused over time. Carpal tunnel occurs when there is a pinch of the median nerve in your wrist. One of the main nerves in the hand, the median nerve goes down into the thumb, index, and middle fingers, and even goes into half of the ring finger. 

This injury is so much more than just “hand cramps,” “feeling strained,” or “just typing too fast.” This is a legitimate, painful syndrome that, if left unchecked, can cause lasting damage to your body. 

This work injury causes the pain to radiate from your hand to your shoulder. The carpal tunnel syndrome occurs first in the dominant hand but possibly will occur in both hands. In addition to pain, you might find that your grip weakens, or that you just become clumsier. You can confirm if you have carpal tunnel syndrome by the Tinel test. If you press your finger and you feel a shock, then you most likely have carpal tunnel syndrome. As with many other kinds of injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome often responds well to treatment if it’s caught early. If you experience this pain, you should report this work injury immediately and file a workers compensation claim.

carpal tunnel syndrome

It’s important to note that this is not an injury limited exclusively to administrative workers. Yes, there are many who suffer from carpal tunnel who spend all day every day typing on a computer, but it can occur to many other workers as well. 

For example, a cashier in a supermarket could absolutely develop carpal tunnel. Anyone who presses a button or pushes something with their fingers every day. The truth is that if you press, push, or slice something for hours upon hours then you could absolutely suffer from this syndrome. 

So, if you feel some kind of strain or hurt in your fingers, hands, or wrist while doing your job, stop. Hopefully, it passes after a short break. If it doesn’t, get help immediately. Too often, what happens with a carpal tunnel kind of injury (or really, any kind of at-work injury) is that the injured person believes the injury is “not that big a deal” and continues working.

This is laudable, because we all want to work hard at our jobs. But, trying to “tough it out” and work through carpal tunnel can not only lead to lasting damage to your body, it’s going to make you worse at your job. There’s no way that you’ll be able to keep up the same pace you were, all while ultimately making things much worse for yourself. You’re already a hard worker. Indeed, getting the injury proves that. Making sure that you get care as quickly as possible is best for yourself as well as those who depend on you. 

Permanent Impairment

As a result of carpal tunnel syndrome, you will feel symptoms such as burning, tingling, discomfort and pain. If you do not treat the carpal tunnel, it would be extremely difficult for you to work. You could eventually develop muscle atrophy, lose mobility, and even suffer permanent damage to your median nerve. 

In order to see if you have permanent impairment from the carpal tunnel injury, you would first need to obtain a carpal release surgery, which would remove the pinch from the median nerve. You may be entitled to obtain this carpal release surgery as part of your workers compensation case. 

After your workers compensation doctor has completed the surgery, there is a possibility that you may still end up with permanent impairment in your hand.   As part of this work accident, you may end up with an infection, nerve damage, stiffness and lifetime pain. Hopefully, your case of carpal tunnel syndrome only results in temporary disability. However, this is a type of workers compensation injury that often results in permanent impairment.

Carpal tunnel isn’t the kind of injury that just affects you while you do your job. As so many of us spend time away from work on our computers, phones, and other mobile devices, an inability to type (or type effectively) can significantly lower one’s quality of life. If you’ve suffered this kind of injury, then it’s important to get the compensation that you deserve.