I may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Is this a work injury?

If you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome, depending on your job, it could certainly be work related. Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to cause one or both hands to become weak or numb.

You may also be feeling tingling or even pain. Ultimately, you may have trouble using your hands in a functional manner if not properly treated.

What carpal tunnel syndrome is

You have a median nerve that travels through your arm into your carpal tunnel which is in your wrist. The nerve ends in your hand. That nerve is very important as is controls the movement of your thumb and 3 of your fingers.

Due to various causes, your carpal tunnel can become swollen, putting pressure on the nerve traveling through it, to your fingers. You can typically learn for sure if it is carpal tunnel syndrome by having your doctor order a test.

Non-work-related injury

Some causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are not work related at all, such as pregnancy. Other non-work-related causes may include the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hypothyroidism

Work-related injury

However, work-related carpal tunnel syndrome is not unusual either. Repetitive motion of the hands and arms, such as using a computer or keyboard is what often causes the injury. If typing activity comprises a large portion of your work day, carpal tunnel syndrome would not be unusual.

Jobs that include a lot of data entry could cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Likewise, if you do secretarial work and type or write letters all day long you may be at risk. Other repetitive motions, such as heavy use of scissors for hours on end as a hairdresser could cause the syndrome. Any kind of repetitive use of your hands could feasibly cause your CTS.

If you see a potential work-related cause of confirmed CTS, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. Such a claim can result in having any treatment for the CTS paid for as well as loss of wages should you become unable to work.

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