Carpal tunnel syndrome has long been linked to an employee’s work activities; however, most people do not necessarily consider it to be a work-related injury. When people think of workers’ compensation, they usually think of a specific injury, like a slip and fall, not a repetitive trauma injury that takes place over a number of months or years. Despite this misconception, Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation law considers repetitive injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome to be just as compensable as a slip and fall case.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, weakness, and other problems associated with the hand. These symptoms usually start off as dull and inconsistent but over time will increase in both duration and severity. Additionally, most people will notice the symptoms at the end of the day or just before bed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve runs from the forearm to the wrist and controls movement and feeling in the thumb and first three fingers. The most common cause for carpal tunnel syndrome by repetitive use of the hands and wrists, usually with the hands below the wrists.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome has long been linked with employees using a typewriter or a computer keyboard; however, carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a number of other work-related activities. In recent years there has been a link between the use of vibrating equipment and carpal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, the use of screwdrivers, wrenches, and power drills can cause an employee to develop symptoms.
I Believe I Have Carpal Tunnel, What Should I Do?
If you or someone you know have been experiencing symptoms similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, you should seek medical treatment. As this injury progresses in severity with time, it is important to start treating for carpal tunnel syndrome as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome it is also important that you inform your employer of the injury and that it is related to your employment. Although carpal tunnel syndrome is a common workplace injury, most employers will attempt to dispute the claim based on the employee’s failure to report the injury in a timely manner.
If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, contact Keches Law Group at 617-898-0808 or online for a free consultation. We will be happy to meet you at one of our conveniently located offices or at your home, and there are no obligations.