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Workers’ compensation benefits and carpal tunnel syndrome

Most people don’t think that factory work and office work have a lot in common, but there’s one occupational hazard that can trouble people who work in those jobs equally: carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful and debilitating condition that affects a victim’s hands and arms. It’s caused by the compression of the nerves in the large bundle that travels from the neck to the hands. Aside from pain, it can cause weakness and numbness and make fine motor tasks next to impossible.

The number one way that people develop carpal tunnel syndrome is through repetitive movements. While people often try to delay the progress of the disease through the use of wrist splints, stretching exercises and by simply avoiding any extra pressure on their hands, it’s almost impossible to halt the disease from getting worse over time.

Age and occupational stress from tapping a keyboard or handling the same items in an assembly line combine to cause sufferers a lot of problems. Surgery is often the only long-term solution that will bring any kind of relief to those afflicted with carpal tunnel.

Who is most likely to end up with carpal tunnel syndrome? Factory workers and anybody who spends a lot of time at a keyboard, certainly are. However, other common victims include anybody who:

  • Regularly operates power tools that vibrate
  • Operates a cash register
  • Does mechanical work that includes pushing, cutting, twisting or pressing
  • Regularly works in a kitchen

You might think that the connection between your carpal tunnel syndrome and your work seems obvious. However, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer may try to argue that your hobbies or lifestyle caused the problem. It can often be a battle to get workers’ comp to agree to cover your medical care and time off work when you need treatment.

If you believe that your carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by your work activity, don’t let an insurer deny your workers’ compensation claim. An attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to pursue fair compensation.