Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is an extremely painful condition which compresses a key nerve in the wrist. While Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is most often the result of long hours spent typing on a computer keyboard, those who work on an assembly line or do any other type of repetitive activity involving the wrist could also be at risk. In fact, any type of repeated flexing and extending of the tendons in the hands and wrists can cause CTS.
CTS symptoms generally begin gradually, with minor pain, numbness or weakness in the wrist or hand, which radiates up through the arm. As CTS progresses, many people feel a tingling sensation in their arm and/or hand throughout the day. Some may find it difficult to pick up a small object, or form a fist. When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is left untreated, permanent nerve and muscle damage could occur.
Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If CTS begins to interfere with everyday activities, a doctor may recommend taking corticosteroid drugs or anti-inflammatory drugs, or wearing a specially designed compression “glove” to help relieve pain and decrease the inflammation. Many people will respond well to these types of treatments. For some, however, the pain and numbness may continue to get worse, up until a point when surgery is required.
Getting the Help You Need for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a relatively common workplace medical issue, which can lead to the inability to perform common everyday tasks. The U.S. Dept. of Labor classifies CTS as an “occupational hazard” while a provision in the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act states that “the disablement or death of an employee resulting from an occupational disease…shall be treated as the happening of an injury by accident.”
If your CTS is job-related, you may be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits. In order to collect benefits, you have the burden of proving your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was caused by a workplace injury rather than a non-work-related factor. So, as an example, if you are an avid racquetball player in your free time, which has been linked to CTS, you could have a tough time getting your claim approved. If you have a prior health condition such as arthritis or diabetes, the insurance company will likely argue that it is your prior health condition, rather than the repetitive movements you make at work, which has led to your CTS.
So, in other words, while you are entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you may have a more difficult time proving your injury is work-related.
Are You Suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
If you are suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as a result of your job, it is important to contact an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through the process, and who will work hard to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to. At Sternberg / Forsythe, our workers’ compensation attorneys are conveniently located in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Orlando. Contact us today at 561-687-5660 for a free consultation and review of your case, or fill out our confidential contact form and someone will call you back.