Lots of things involve using your hands and wrists, but certain jobs could lead to overuse of those areas. It's unlikely that your wrists are sturdy enough to do tasks that some jobs demand, and sometimes you only find that out when it's too late. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one the most common and well-known wrist maladies out there, and for sufferers it means pain, swelling, and eventually permanent damage. This work-related injury is covered by workers comp, so read on to learn more.
Wrists and jobs
It's not just those who type at a keyboard all day that can be vulnerable to this debilitating condition. Those who work at assembly lines, run sewing machines, cut and style hair, and work many other jobs that involve the repetitive use of the wrists and hands can find themselves suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
The tunnel in the wrist
The reason for the name of this disorder lies in the narrow tunnel that runs across the wrist area. Not only can constant motion affect the nerves that run through this tunnel, but pressure against the tunnel causes problems as well. The first signs of a problem may be numbness with a bit of pain but that will gradually progress to more and more pain as the inflammation worsens. Soon, even brushing your teeth or lifting up a cup of coffee can bring agony. At its worse, the affected thumb and the surrounding area can begin to atrophy or waste away.
Stop working and seek treatment
As soon as you suspect a problem, see your doctor and get a diagnosis, which you will need to get workers comp coverage. Since rest is probably the first order of business, you may as well inform your supervisor about the condition and have them remit a workers comp claim. You may find that rest alleviates the problem temporarily, but you may also need to find a new way to earn money. In most cases, surgery will be required to deal with the issue completely. With this, the surgeon severs the ligament and enlarges the tunnel to remove the pressure and allow the inflammation to heal. If you just go back to your previous position, however, you might be undoing the positive results of the surgery.
Long-term workers comp coverage
A carpal tunnel injury may involve more than just a few weeks off; you may actually have a permanent hand injury. What this will mean for your workers comp claim is a lump sum settlement and perhaps rehabilitative services that could retrain you for a different job. To get the most you are entitled, speak to a workers compensation attorney before you agree to a settlement and don't sell yourself short.Share