Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common form of a repetitive stress injury that many workers have developed over time. This may be attributed to the increased use of workplace computers. In just about every occupation, computers are used in some capacity.
If you are struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome in Richmond, Virginia, seek an attorney to schedule a consultation to see if you may be eligible to file a work injury compensation claim.
Virginia Workers’ Comp: A Close Look at Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an often painful condition that results from the median nerve in the wrist being over-pressed. This nerve controls some sensations in your hand and some muscle impulses, allowing you to move your fingers and thumb.
The “tunnel” in carpal tunnel syndrome is a passageway of tendons that help connect bones to ligaments at the base of your hand. It also houses your median nerve that sends signals to the brain.
When tendons become irritated and swell, the tunnel will narrow and compress the median nerve. Symptoms that may arise include the following:
- pain; and
These symptoms may appear in your hand and wrist or they may radiate up your arm.
Work that Could Lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you work with a computer, recurring keyboard activities could cause carpal tunnel syndrome. It is common for office employees to spend hours inputting information or computer data.
If this is executed in the absence of suitable ergonomics or frequent breaks, carpal tunnel syndrome could develop.
Grocery store work, specifically scanning bar codes, could also cause a Virginia workers’ comp injury.
Grocery checkers have the task of pulling or sliding products over a scanner hundreds or thousands of times in an 8-hour shift. This could easily compress the nerve associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Other occupations and accompanying work activities that could cause carpal tunnel syndrome and set the stage for a work injury compensation claim include the following:
- tailor or seamstress – grasping fabric and pulling cloth;
- mechanic – using a screwdriver or pushing a ratchet;
- landscaper or gardener – manually pulling weeds;
- painter – handling a spray gun;
- janitor – scrubbing;
- musician – playing a stringed instrument with a bow; and
- locksmith – turning keys.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Since your normal work activities may worsen your symptoms, your doctor may advise you to take a few weeks off and rest your hand and wrist. You may also be provided a wrist splint to keep you from bending your wrist. Any bending of the wrist could exacerbate your symptoms.
Additional treatment options include the following:
- NSAIDs, which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and Aspirin;
- Prednisone, an oral steroid; and
- steroid injections to ease pressure on your median nerve.
In severe cases, you may be required to undergo open carpal tunnel release surgery or a less invasive endoscopic surgery. In order to file a successful work injury compensation claim, you should anticipate being able to prove that your carpal tunnel syndrome was a result of your work rather than any outside activities.
For instance, if proper tools are not accessible for you, tools that could prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from happening, or if you were not properly instructed on how to execute a job that caused your work injury, you can list these examples in your claim as evidence.
Since this can be very difficult to prove, it is crucial that you acquire the guidance of a Virginia workers’ comp attorney. A claim is best suited for an attorney who understands Virginia law and handles work injury cases on a day-to-day basis.
Contact a Richmond, Virginia Workers’ Comp Attorney
When you have difficulties with your work injury compensation claim, an attorney can bear some of the burden you’ve been placed under. To get back on your feet, whether it means getting back to work or getting the benefits you deserve, order a copy of our free book, the Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia, and contact a workers’ comp attorney at the Injured Workers Law Firm for a no-cost consultation – 877-755-7744 or 804-755-7755.