Can Carpal Tunnel be a Workers’ Comp Injury?
Carpal tunnel can indeed be a work-related injury. However, carpal tunnel cases are typically not simple, easy workers’ comp cases. They are what’s known as an occupational condition. You are strongly advised to have an attorney to help you deal with any carpal tunnel issue before Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Commission.
What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition in which the nerves and tendons that flex your fingers are compressed as they travel through your wrist. Symptoms which may affect your wrist, hand and fingers can include pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness. Generally, these sensations gradually appear and worsen over time, but in rare cases CTS may develop over shorter periods of time.
How do I get it?
A variety of factors can contribute to the onset of CTS symptoms. Age, gender, weight, arthritis, and prior trauma can all lead to these problems. Commonly, the disorder develops as a result of repetitive motions of your hand and wrist. Over time, activities such as typing, slicing, twisting, squeezing, and cutting could all be contributing factors lending to a CTS diagnosis.
Carpal tunnel can impact any number of workers or occupations. Here are some of the most common:
- Food Service and Preparation
- Truck Drivers
- Data Entry
This is just a sample list. Many, many jobs could theoretically lead to CTS.
How is it treated?
As with most conditions and work injuries, initial treatment of CTS is conservative, if possible. Immobilization using braces or splints, physical therapy exercises which focus on stretching and strengthening, anti-inflammatory medications, and even steroid shots may all be utilized in an attempt to relieve the symptoms. If these methods are not effective, then surgery may be needed to help decrease the pressure on the affected nerves and tendons.
Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome covered by Workers’ Comp?
The key question in making this determination is whether or not the unique aspects of an individual’s work activities were substantial contributing factors to the development of the CTS. In other words, was it caused by job activities, personal hobbies, or genetics? The burden of proof is on the Claimant to prove this causal connection. As with most occupational disease claims, a medical opinion supporting causation is a necessary component of a claim.
We can help you with your workers’ comp claim for carpal tunnel. Click the lawyers page to learn more.