Millions of Americans deal with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) on a regular basis. CTS is a type of repetitive stress injury (RSI) often caused by making repetitive movements such as working at a computer all day or working in a factory. It can also be caused by working in a supermarket, placing groceries on the shelves or operating a cash register.
Many people consider carpal tunnel syndrome as something you just have to deal with as part of living and working in our modern world. What many people don’t realize is CTS is often a work-related injury, which may qualify the injured employee for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can include past medical bills, future medical bills, and lost wages from time taken off work to seek treatment and deal with pain.
You could just take over-the-counter painkillers, or buy an arm wrap from a local drug store, and try to deal with the pain, but it will probably not get better on its own. It will probably get worse over time. This is because it is a degenerative condition caused by pressure being placed on the carpal tunnel. This pressure can pinch the bundle of nerves and tendons that controls movement in all parts of the hand. Pain can also radiate up the arm to the patient’s neck and shoulders.
People who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome often experience more pain at night when trying to sleep, so there is no good way to escape the pain without medical intervention. However, people are often hesitant to go to a doctor, because they have all heard stories about the problems that sometimes occur with carpal tunnel surgery, even when performed by a competent doctor.
In an attempt to make CTS treatment easier for patients, doctors and researchers have been working on developing less invasive, but equally effective treatments. According to a recent article from Ottawa Community News, doctors are already performing one of these revolutionary new procedures to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.
This procedure, called Active Release Technique (A.R.T) is a noninvasive procedure whereby doctors use a soft tissue system to treat muscle, fascia, tendons, ligaments, and nerves to treat CTS. A.R.T. allows doctors to isolate the nerves causing pain and loss of movement and treat them directly rather than an open surgical procedure which was normally required.
However, even with new procedures such as this, the most important thing you can do if you believe you have carpal tunnel syndrome is to report it to your employer and have an incident report made. While this is not the same as a traumatic on-the-job injury, which occurs instantly, such as a broken leg, it is often a work-related illness, and your will not be compensated if you wait years to make a report. This is because the law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires employees to make timely workers’ compensation claims if they are to be awarded a full and appropriate financial compensation for their on-the-job injury or illness.
In other words, much like a traditional civil lawsuit, workers’ compensation claims have a statute of limitations, but the period of time to file claim is much shorter than in civil court.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
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