While there are very few jobs that don't involve the use of your hands and wrists at some point, some positions require extensive use. If you sit and type at a computer keyboard all day, use a sewing machine, do small electrical assembly or do other jobs that require the almost constant use of your hands and wrists, you may begin to suffer from some painful effects of that use after a time. Read on to learn more about one of the most damaging of these effects, carpal tunnel syndrome, and how it can affect your ability to do your job.
Understanding Repetitive Stress Disorders
Anytime you repeat the same motions over and over again, you may be putting yourself at risk for some negative physical effects. If you play too much tennis, you might get tennis elbow. If you run too much, you might suffer from foot and legs problems. The same thing can happen with your wrist joint area; too much wrist motion can cause a narrow nerve tunnel in the wrists to become irritated and then inflamed. This inflammation can then make it extremely painful to not only work at your usual job anymore, but to do simple tasks like turning on the ignition of your car or holding a coffee cup.
The tunnel in question is connected to several nerves, bones and ligaments in your wrist area. One particular nerve, called the median nerve, is a key operator when it comes to moving your fingers and opening and closing your palms. Inflammation of the median nerve can make it nearly impossible to move the affected hand or fingers without pain, tingling and numbness.
Do You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Major symptoms of this disabling disorder include:
- Pain and numbness
- Shooting pains up the arm
- A 'hot poker-like" sensation in the wrist area
- Your wrist feels swollen, but no swelling can actually be seen
- Worse pain at night
- Eventual loss of grip due to the wasting of the nerves and muscles
Act to Preserve Your Workers' Comp Rights
As soon as you know you have this condition, let your supervisor know so that a workers' comp claim is filed. You may be eligible to have all of your related medical expenses paid, as well as you can get some time off at home to rest your wrist. In some cases, surgery may be called for. The resting of the affected area is vital to a full recovery.
Speak to a workers' comp service for more information. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a serious condition and could result in a permanent injury.