Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the passageway that surrounds the median nerve that provides sensation to the hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compensable injury if you can show your condition is directly related to your workplace. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may try to deny your claim by saying your injury originated somewhere else, such as a sport you play regularly outside of work. Contact an experienced lawyer right away if your claim for benefits has been denied.
Symptoms and Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The passageway for the median nerve is very narrow, therefore any damage to the muscles, soft tissues, and blood vessels in the surrounding area can cause the nerve to become compressed. This can cause some or all of the following symptoms:
- Loss of motion in the hand and fingers.
- Numbness of the hand or fingers.
- Pain in the wrist area, often while sleeping.
- Tingling in the hands and fingers.
- Weakened grip.
Serious cases of carpal tunnel syndrome can result in irreversible damage and leave those affected unable to complete everyday tasks, such as brushing teeth or combing hair. In these instances, the ability to earn a living can be significantly impacted as well as a person’s quality of life.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by tasks that require a worker to use the same muscles over and over in the same way. Scanning retail items, typing on a computer, sewing, hammering, drilling, and line work on a conveyor belt are all examples of workplace tasks that can cause a repetitive stress injury like carpal tunnel syndrome. Usually, the condition develops slowly over time, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly when and where it started. Many people ignore the symptoms and do not seek help until they are in tremendous pain. Insurance companies take advantage of this fact and are reluctant to pay for workers’ compensation benefits.
Prevention and Treatment
Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment. The use of ergonomic tools and an ergonomically designed workplace can go a long way toward eliminating some of the hazards of repetitive work. Workers should also take regular breaks and rotate tasks if possible to relieve the stress on the body of performing the same task every day.
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome includes anti-inflammatory medications, stretching, strength exercises, and splinting the hand. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to provide relief.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
For a workers’ compensation claim to be successful, you will need extensive documentation of the progression of your condition. Contact an experienced attorney for help navigating the complex claims process.
West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Fight for the Rights of Injured Workers
If you have questions about workers’ compensation benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome, you can rely on one of our experienced West Chester workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Call us at 610-594-1600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.