Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury (RSI) caused by the compression of nerves and tendons in the “carpal tunnel” of your wrist. These nerves and tendons allow your fingers to flex. Swelling around the carpal tunnel can result in severe pain, numbness and weakness when performing activities that require the flexing of the fingers and wrist. As with other RSIs, these injuries can become progressively worse over time. Occupations that require extensive typing and writing, for example, can exacerbate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today.
Repetitive Stress Injuries and Workers’ Comp
Massachusetts Workers who spend hours at a desk every day, typing on a keyboard and clicking a mouse, have an especially high risk of RSIs, including carpal tunnel syndrome. Although this type of job is often the cause of an RSI, you most likely won’t sue your employer for these kinds of injuries; they are rarely due to negligence. That’s what workers’ compensation is for. Workers’ comp exists to protect employers from being sued for on-the-job injuries they are not responsible for, and to protect employees from loss of income when injuries prevent them from working.
As with most RSIs, carpal tunnel syndrome is generally covered by workers’ comp. However, the burden of proving the injury is work-related falls on the employee. It’s easier to prove that some injuries were suffered on-the-job. For example, if a worker slips and falls off a roof at a construction site in front of other workers, the workers’ comp claim is likely to be fairly straightforward. This isn’t always the case with carpal tunnel syndrome and other RSIs. What if the worker has two jobs that require repetitive movements, or he or she engages in hobbies such as tennis or blogging? Any of these scenarios could also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are suffering from work-related carpal tunnel syndrome, it is crucial to consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced with RSI cases.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be excruciatingly painful. Occasionally, treatment of this condition requires surgery. Non-surgical treatments include splinting, steroid injections, and diuretics. Symptoms include:
- Numbness, weakness, or pain in the hand and wrist
- “Pins-and-needles” sensation
- Numbness, weakness, or pain that worsens when using the hand or wrist
- Aching pain in the forearm
- Stiffness in the fingers
- Accidentally dropping objects
- Loss of ability to pinch objects between the thumb and index finger
- Other Types of RSIs
Carpal tunnel syndrome is only one type of RSI. Other injuries include tendinitis and bursitis, both of which can also be extremely painful and debilitating. Certain factors can increase the risk of developing any type of RSI, including obesity, alcoholism, diabetes, gout, and lack of exercise.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Serving all of Massachusetts
If you have been injured on-the-job, the skilled workers’ comp team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. RSIs are typically eligible for workers’ comp benefits, but application errors and missing or inaccurate information can delay benefits for extended periods of time. In some cases, workers never receive the benefits they deserve. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we can help you get the benefits you deserve in a timely manner. Furthermore, if negligence played a role in your injuries, you may be entitled to additional compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.