What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a painful affliction of the wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, located on the inner, palm side of the wrist, is compressed. This compression creates a very narrow path for optimal nerve function. CTS affects approximately 5% of the U.S. population, but women are more likely to suffer than men. This is attributed to the fact that the wrist area is generally smaller in women than men, and small women may be more prone to this condition.

Predisposed Factors

Doctors and specialists point out that some sufferers are simply predisposed to have CTS simply by their skeletal and muscular construction, or other health problems. These health problems may include the following:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Fluid changes
  • Tumors
  • Arthritis

Obesity affects the wrist as weight tends to press upon the nerves. Your physician may encourage a healthier lifestyle. The same is said for diabetes, which is a nerve-destroying condition. Fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause can affect the tissues in the wrist area. Tumors, such as ganglion cysts, often invade the wrist area, and rheumatoid arthritis is known to cause serious damage to the bones and joints in the hand and wrist. Other CTS sufferers develop the syndrome by repetitive movements of the hand or arm, whether it be while enjoying crafts or hobbies, or from doing repetitive motions in the workforce such as typing all day on a computer keyboard.

Work-Related Causes

While the numbness and tingling can lead into the hand or travel up the arm, it is the pain that is often debilitating. Sleep patterns are often disrupted. Also, work-related duties may not be completed satisfactorily. A study completed by the Mayo Clinic has shown that workplace related actions cause a great percentage of CTS cases. Assembly line actions, vibrating tools, or any repetitive wrist flexing can cause the pressure on the median nerve. It can also exacerbate the pre-existing damage. Even regular computer use can cause the condition.

Legal Recovery

Although physicians may suggest that wrist compression or medications may help with symptoms, often surgery is the best or only option for relief of the most serious cases. Such severe cases can reduce your ability to properly perform work functions or complete tasks satisfactorily. For those who suffer from serious work-related CTS, and find that they may need legal action, we may be able to help. We can work with your physician, specialist, or surgeon who have determined that your CTS case is indeed work-related. We may be able to help ensure that all factors have properly determined or discarded. A workmans compensation lawyer should have the knowledge and experience to present your case to the court for workmans compensation relief or disability determination if your claim was denied.

Because approximately one-third of all compensation payments are due to CTS, courts tend to take these claims very seriously. If you’ve tried to get legal relief on your own and gotten nowhere, a workmans compensation lawyer may be able to make a difference in your case such as the New York Workers Comp Attorney.

Thanks to authors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen LLP for their insight into Workers Compensation Law.

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