According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, approximately 3-6% of all adults in the U.S. suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. That’s about 15 million people. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not only a common workplace injury; it can also lead to a workers’ compensation claim.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition that causes numbness and pain in a person’s wrist, hand, and arm. It happens when the median nerve, which is one of the major nerves to the hand, gets squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist.
People with CTS typically experience numbness, tingling, or burning in their thumb and fingers – especially the index and middle fingers. Others will feel pain radiate from their fingers, up through their forearm, all the way to their shoulder. CTS can also lead to weakness in the hand and a loss of grip strength and manual dexterity.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
While the exact cause of CTS is unknown, many medical experts believe that it is the result of a combination of factors. One of those factors is repetitive hand motion – when someone makes the same hand or wrist movements over and over, for a prolonged period of time. This repetitive use can aggravate the tendons in the wrist, causing swelling and putting pressure on the nerve. Another factor is hand and wrist posture – when someone performs certain activities that involve the extreme flexing or extension of the hand for a long time. CTS may also be caused by trauma to the wrist, such as a car accident or work-related injury.
How Do You Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
CTS will worsen over time if not treated. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, it is important to be evaluated by a medical professional. There are two categories of CTS treatment: non-surgical and surgical. Non-surgical treatments include: wearing a wrist brace, taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, changing your activities, therapeutic exercises, and steroid injections. If the CTS symptoms do not subside, the doctor may recommend surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve.
Can I File A Workers’ Compensation Claim For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are many jobs that require repetitive motions or activities. These include:
- Working on a computer
- Operating a cash register
- Assembly line work
- Agricultural work
If your job requires repetitive motions and you have been diagnosed with CTS, then you may have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. Georgia recognizes CTS as a compensable medical injury, meaning that you may be entitled to recover any medical expenses and lost wages – depending on the nature of your injury.
If you have been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or a repetitive use injury and need help with your workers’ compensation case, contact The Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera. Our team can explain Georgia’s workers’ compensation system and the benefits available for your injury or disability. Contact our office today for a free consultation.