Q: Can I file a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is considered a repetitive stress injury. A repetitive stress injury is one that occurs as a result of repeating the same motion over and over again. Carpal tunnel is linked to tasks that require awkward hand motions, vibration, mechanical stress on the palm or wrist, strong gripping, and repetitive hand motions. Unlike many other work-related injuries, carpal tunnel happens over time and cannot be linked to a particular incident.
Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The onset of carpal tunnel is usually accompanied by a variety of symptoms that affect the fingers, hand, or wrist including:
If you suspect that you have carpal tunnel, you will need to consult your doctor. The evaluation of occupational carpal tunnel syndrome is typically a four-part process. Your doctor will go through each step and test with you to confirm your diagnosis. The basic process is as follows:
- Identifying workplace risks. This requires a detailed assessment of a typical workday, including the duration, intensity, and frequency of each task performed.
- Tinel’s test. This test allows your doctor to detect nerve irritation by tapping the median nerve, located on the inside of the wrist. A tingling response in one or more fingers may indicate carpal tunnel.
- Phalen’s test. Your doctor can conduct another test for median nerve damage by asking you to place the backs of your hands together and bend at the wrist for one minute. A tingling feeling in one or more fingers may indicate carpal tunnel.
- Electromyography. In this final test, electrodes are placed on the forearm, and ann electrical current is passed through the transmitters. Measurements are then taken on how well and how fast the median nerve transmits messages to muscles. Median nerve damage, a strong indicator of carpal tunnel syndrome, is detected by this test.
After your test results are evaluated, your doctor will contact you to discuss your diagnosis and treatment options.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Occupational Carpal Tunnel
If you have been diagnosed with occupational carpal tunnel syndrome, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, claims for repetitive stress injuries can be tricky, and your employer and its insurer may stand between you and the benefits you are due. If you are having trouble obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, reach out to our experienced legal team today. You can contact us at any time of the day or night through our online contact form or by initiating a live chat.