Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common nerve and musculoskeletal disorder caused by repetitive motion injuries, or trauma to the hand and wrist.
Between four and 10 million Americans are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, according to the American College of Rheumatology. The syndrome is often work-related.
In fact, ergonomic or musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome account for between 56–63 percent of occupational illnesses reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration each year.
Georgia individuals diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome related to their work duties may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. If you're suffering from job-related carpal tunnel syndrome, workers' compensation benefits can help you get the treatment you need to recover and return to your job. Here's what you should know when seeking workers' compensation benefits.
About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder involving the median nerve, which runs from the palm to the forearm. The condition occurs when the median nerve is compressed or squeezed at the wrist by the carpal tunnel—a narrow corridor of ligament and bones at the wrist that houses the median nerve, as well as the tendons that allow the fingers to flex. Carpal tunnel syndrome disrupts the median nerve's normal functions, which include providing sensation to parts of the fingers and thumbs.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms and Treatment
The compression of the median nerve by the carpal tunnel can cause numbness, weakness, or pain in the hand, wrist, forearm, and arm. Symptoms increase gradually and may include burning, tingling, itching, and numbness often most noticeable during the night or upon waking.
As the disorder progresses, sufferers may experience decreased grip strength, difficulty distinguishing between hot and cold by touch, and trouble performing other tasks that require manual dexterity.
Fortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome often responds well to treatment, which can include:
- Wearing a splint
- Avoiding activities that provoke or exacerbate symptoms
- Taking over-the-counter or prescription medications
- Undergoing carpal tunnel open release or endoscopic surgical procedures
- Completing rehabilitation therapy
Occupations Associated With Repetitive Motion Injuries
Jobs that require workers to perform the same tasks again and again, as well as movements that involve awkward hand positions, strong gripping, mechanical stress on the palm, or vibration, can lead to repetitive motion injuries and musculoskeletal disorders, like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Occupations associated with repetitive motion injuries include:
- Computer and data entry workers
- Administrative assistants and typists
- Assembly line workers
- Commercial drivers
Workers' Compensation Benefits for Injured Employees in Georgia
Individuals diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of their job duties may be eligible to collect workers' compensation benefits, which include compensation for related medical expenses, temporary disability payments, and rehabilitation support. These benefits are designed to help workers recover from their injuries and get back to work as soon as possible.
Unlike financial awards in personal injury lawsuits, workers' compensation benefits don't include compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other intangible losses.
Consult a Knowledgeable Attorney About Workers' Compensation
If you were diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome caused by the demands of your job, you may be entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits. The skilled Georgia attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak understand this intricate state system, and can help you present a strong work-related injury claim to secure the necessary benefits you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case with a member of our legal team.