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Archive for the ‘Repetitive Stress Injury’ Category

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the Workplace: How to Prevent This Growing Problem

January 12th, 2015 at 11:18 am

carpal tunnel syndrome, Illinois workers compensation lawyerPeople commonly associate construction zones or factories as dangerous or toxic areas where accident-related injuries will most likely occur due to the use of heavy machinery and chaotic environment. However, office employees are subject to their own set of occupational hazards, leading to a number of injuries, even though the atmosphere might be much calmer.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury that affects people in the workplace who spend considerable amounts of time at a desk or on the computer. According to the American College of Rheumatology, 4 to 10 million American suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. It occurs when the the median nerve that runs through the forearm and wrist becomes compressed or pinched resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Tingling;
  • Hand weakness;
  • Numbness; and
  • Loss of hand function.

Carpal tunnel is a treatable condition, but in severe cases, surgery may be required. Stretching, taking frequent breaks, and ensuring an ergonomic work space are all important to help prevent hands from cramping and carpal tunnel from becoming a problem.

Desk ergonomics includes making adjustments to your desk chair and computer monitor heights, using a wrist rest, and adding items like a foot rest or headset to help with other daily office tasks. Employees should speak to their human resources manager for ways to make their desks more ergonomically sound.

Carpal tunnel can also affect any person with a job where there is repetitive strain on the nerves in the hand and wrist. Individuals who work in an assembly line or in industries like cleaning, sewing, or manufacturing also commonly experience carpal tunnel syndrome due to the repetition of daily tasks.

When a person suffers from this excessive strain, the pain and numbness may eventually lead to the inability to successfully perform the functions of the job. It is important to have preventative measures in place and an open discussion between employers and employees regarding any concerns with desk positioning.

Carpal tunnel syndrome may gradually worsen over time and a workers’ compensation claim may cover this type of repetitive stress injury. If you have experienced an injury on the job and your employer has not implemented preventative measures or refuses to help with treatment, contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Illinois today to discuss your options.

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