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Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

Is carpal tunnel a work-related injury?

Not all work injuries are equal. Some may happen after a traumatic accident, and others may develop over time. Often known as repetitive or over-use injuries, the latter include carpal tunnel syndrome.

When the hands are integral to performing your job, you may develop pain and eventual damage that requires a doctor’s care. Learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome and what an employer can do to help.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

The median nerve runs down the arm, through the elbow, forearm and wrist. The median nerve provides muscle movement in the wrist, hand and thumb. When it suffers any kind of impediment, such as a swollen muscle impinging it, the median nerve cannot signal the muscles to perform properly. The result is often pain, loss of grip strength and eventual loss of movement.

What occupations are more susceptible to it?

Those professionals who depend on the repetitive use of the wrists and hands are often more likely to develop carpal tunnel. Office workers who type for many hours a day deal with the impact of median nerve impingement and damage. Construction workers who often use power tools that send vibrations into the hands are prone to tissue and nerve damage. Factory workers and sewists who perform repetitive movements daily are also susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Is carpal tunnel eligible for workers’ comp?

Should a doctor attribute carpal tunnel to work, an employee may file a workers’ compensation claim. Benefits may assist with treatment, including prescription medication, support braces and eventual surgery.

A worker who cannot perform a task due to carpal tunnel syndrome may have the makings of a workers’ comp claim.