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A Closer Look at Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Many workers’ compensation cases involve a single traumatic event resulting in a temporary or permanent illness. However, workers’ compensation in Boston, and throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is also available for repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

wrist-pain-1445343-1-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from Dayton Daily News, what often starts out as an occasional tingling in the thumb can often progress into a strange feeling of pain and numbness, that makes its hard for workers to sleep at night.

Epidemiologists estimate around six percent of all Americans will be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome at some time during their lives. This figure only accounts for those who seek medical attention and get a diagnosis. Many more will continue to suffer in silence, thinking this is just something with which they have to live for the rest of their working lives.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is technically caused when the median nerve running through the human hand become squeezed or compressed by an unnaturally thick wrist ligament, resulting in a great deal of pain and suffering. The pain will typically start in the hand and wrist, but it will also travel up the entire arm, causing even more pain and loss in total strength. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states carpal tunnel syndrome is the most frequently occurring and most well known of entrapment neuropathies caused by compression of peripheral nerves.

In recent years, as our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand, there has been a significant increase in the number of carpal tunnel syndrome diagnoses. Doctors believe this is partly due to greater public knowledge of the disease and what symptoms should lead them to seeing a doctor.

While carpal tunnel syndrome has long been associated with employees sitting at computer screen and using a keyboard, researchers are beginning to look at other potential causes of the painful condition, including occupations that involve vibrating equipment.

Researches now believe jobs involving vibration, such as assembly line work, greatly increase one’s chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. It is also believed genetics may a big role in developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Some people are just born with a narrower carpal tunnel. This makes it easier to compress the carpal tunnel nerve. Due to typically having smaller wrists and hands, women also account for a bigger percentage of carpal tunnel cases in the United States.

If you have any of these symptoms common to carpal tunnel syndrome, you should contact a medical professional as soon as possible, so you can have a diagnosis and begin proper treatment. You should also speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to see if you have a case for a full and appropriate financial recovery. This can include past and future medical bills, and any lost wages after you have been out work for at least 5 days.

Another important thing is to make sure you report this painful condition to your employer, so a paper trail is created to verify that you were injured as result of your employment, because employers typically try to defend these claims by asserting an affirmative defense that you were not working when you developed carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you are injured on the job in Boston, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim: 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

What you need to know about Carpal Tunnel, March 9, 2015, Dayton Daily News
More Blog Entries:

Boston Workplaces Need a Rescue Plan For Fall Injuries, July 10, 2014, Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog