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Carpal Tunnel and Boston Workers’ Compensation

When we think about a person who is injured on the job and receiving workers’ compensation benefits, we are often thinking of any employee who suffered some type of traumatic injury while at work.  This could be when a person falls at work, or a heavy object hits them on the head, or it can even be from exposure to caustic chemicals, since a person can get workers’ compensation benefits from a work-related illness.

handHowever, one of the more common workplace injuries is often overlooked, and people do not make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits when they probably should.  This is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which is a common type of repetitive stress injury (RSI) caused by performing the same or similar tasks on a regular basis throughout the day for many workdays.

First, it is important to understand what carpal tunnel syndrome actually is.  It is condition that occurs when the carpal tunnel is compressed. The carpal tunnel is a sheath that protects a bundle of nerves that run through the wrist connecting the forearm to the hand. The nerves in this bundle control the movement of the hand.  When the carpal tunnel is compressed, the victim will experience pain in his or her hand.  As the pain gets worse, it will often radiate up and down the entire arm.  While many think it will get better after work, this is often the opposite of what actually happens.

As our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys have seen in many cases, the pain and discomfort from carpal tunnel syndrome is often much worse for clients at the end of the day.  The pain will keep people up at night as it radiates through the upper body and even can cause severe headaches.  Another thing to understand is that there is a misconception that carpal tunnel syndrome is most common in an office setting from repetitive tasks such as using a computer.  While you can get CTS or another RSI from using a computer or typing, it is much common in jobs that require repetitive physical task like factory assembly work or working in a kitchen or seafood processing businesses, of which there are quite a few in Boston, as discussed in a recent article from the Cape Gazette.

Even though many people will get carpal tunnel syndrome, not enough of these people are applying for workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries.  Instead, they choose to simply deal with the ever-increasing pain and treat the issue themselves such as by wearing over-the-counter wrist braces and taking a lot of ibuprofen.  What an employee with carpal tunnel syndrome should be doing is making a report to his or her employer, as soon as the condition is diagnosed, and speak with an experienced workplace injury lawyer.

Another reason this is important is because when you leave your job, the pain may continue to get worse, and if you haven’t made any type of report with your employer at the time of receiving a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis, it may be very difficult to get your former employer to agree to pay your workers’ compensation benefits without going to court.

If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Tips to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, Jan. 11, 2017, By Fred Cicetti, Cape Gazette

More Blog Entries:

Parr v. Breeden – Supervisor Co-Workers Not Liable Under Workers’ Comp Exclusive Remedy, July 3, 2016, Boston Work Accident Lawyer Blog