Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common workplace illness. It’s an injury that builds up over time. That makes it a lot easier for the insurance carrier to deny your claim. However, it is a legitimate workplace injury, and a St. Petersburg workers comp attorney can ensure that your claim is handled properly.
In this blog, we’ll explain what carpal tunnel syndrome is. We’ll describe the symptoms and discuss what treatments are available. We’ll also talk about what can happen if you file a claim for workers comp due to your carpal tunnel.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused when pressure is put on your median nerve. This is the nerve that runs from the palm of your hand up through your wrist. When this nerve is impeded, it causes pain, tingling, and numbness in your hand.
Many people who suffer from carpal tunnel experience it in both wrists. It may start with one hand, but it will usually appear in both over time.
As this condition worsens, you can end up suffering from intense numbness, causing you to drop things. It will also be too painful to do things like using a cell phone, typing on a computer, and doing other repetitive tasks.
What Kind of Treatment is Available?
If your carpal tunnel is minor and in its early stages, you may be able to manage it without surgical intervention. You may be able to ice the area when it’s bothering you the most. You can also rely on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil and Motrin.
The doctor will also advise you to steer clear of the repetitive motions that are causing your carpal tunnel. Usually, the doctor will ask what you do for a living. In many cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is directly related to your job duties.
The doctor will likely recommend that you have your wrist splinted, at least when you’re not at work. This will keep you from using the muscles around the median nerve and give your hand a much-needed break
Sadly, if your condition is serious, the only treatment available may be surgery. You may miss a couple of months from work.
Workers at Risk of Carpal Tunnel
Certain employees are at a much greater risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Anybody who works with their hands is at risk of developing wrist injuries. So are those workers who have to use vibrating equipment, such as a jackhammer.
Some of the professions that present a high risk of carpal tunnel include:
- Construction workers
- Casino dealers
- IT workers
- Assembly line workers
- Administrative workers
If you happen to work in one of these positions, you may be at a heightened risk of developing carpal tunnel.
Your employer should be aware of your job duties and advise the insurance company to approve your workers’ compensation claim. However, that doesn’t always happen.
How Long Could You Be Out of Work?
You are probably worried about how long carpal tunnel syndrome can keep you out of work. There’s no way to know for sure until you’re examined by a doctor.
If your doctor determines that your only treatment option is surgery, you could be out of work for several months. In other cases, you may be able to avoid surgery and return to work in a few weeks.
If you don’t need surgery, you may be able to return to work in a few weeks or reduce your hours temporarily instead of missing work. TPD workers’ compensation benefits pay some of the difference between what you earn on light duty and your regular wages.
Call Us for Help With Your Claim
Once you start to notice the symptoms of carpal tunnel, you need to let your employer know. You can file a worker’s compensation claim in order to get the proper treatment for your wrist. You may also be entitled to weekly benefits as well.
If your employer and the insurance company deny your claim, you’ll need to visit with a Florida workers comp attorney. They can file an appeal on your behalf and help you get the medical care and benefits you deserve.
We offer a free initial consultation for all new clients. All you have to do is call our office at 954-833-5226 to schedule your free case review.