Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Workers’ Compensation

When people think of workers’ compensation, they are normally thinking of a single, catastrophic accident. This could involve anything from merchandise falling from a high shelf in a retail setting to a machine guarding injury at a large factory.

However, workers’ compensation benefits are also appropriate in cases of work-related illness or when an injury is caused by work that took a substantial amount of time to develop.

wristpain.jpgRepetitive stress injuries (RSI) are actually a major category of workplace injuries, though many victims may not realize they can apply for benefits. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a good example that is one of the most common types of RSI seen on the job. If a worker is required to perform a repetitive task day in and day out, there is a decent chance this will eventually lead to an RSI. If that work involves the use of the hand or wrist, that RSI may manifest as carpal tunnel syndrome.

While many people associate carpal tunnel syndrome with working at a computer, that is actually only one cause. Many factory workers and food service and production employees are required to perform repetitive tasks that may cause CTS.

According to a recent news article from Everyday Health, there are certain things victims of CTS can do to ease the pain. However, while these techniques may help quite a bit, you should really seek a consultation with an Asheville workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to discuss whether you are entitled to a benefits award.

One of the ways to reduce pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome is to wear a wrist brace at night. It is common to see people wearing those braces while they are sitting at a computer, but very few people leave the braces on at night. The reason for this is because many people tend to sleep with their wrist flexed and that can actually make the medical condition worse. A brace is designed to keep the wrist straight, as that is the best way to alleviate pressure of the carpal tunnel.

Another way to help alleviate pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome is take breaks throughout the workday and use that time to flex and stretch the wrist. This can help get blood flowing and ease the pain caused by the compressed nerve bundle. Occupational therapists recommend finding an empty wall and placing the palms and forearms of each arm against the wall. Placing one foot in front of the other, lean forward. They say you should feel a stretch in your chest. It should be noted that is important to speak with a physical therapist or occupational therapist before starting any stretching or exercise regimen. If you need physical or occupational therapy, this may be covered by your workers’ compensation benefits under North Carolina law.

Another simple way to alleviate the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome is to ice your wrist. The cold ice will not only make the wrist feel better, but it can actually help reduce the pressure and tension. Experts say that when using the cold pack, you should place it on the palm side of your hand and wrist.

If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
7 Natural Ways to Ease Carpal Tunnel Pain, October 2015, Everyday Health

More Blog Entries:
Hynes v. Good Samaritan Hosp. – Total Disability for Nurse After Patient Attacks, Sept. 17, 2015, Asheville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog

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