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Managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Work: Understanding Your Compensation Rights

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that affects many people, especially those who perform jobs involving repetitive movements of the hands and wrists. For those suffering from this condition, it can be challenging to continue working and fulfill their job responsibilities. In Arizona, workers who develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of their job duties may have compensation rights. In this article, we will explore what carpal tunnel syndrome is, how it affects workers, and what their compensation rights are in the state of Arizona.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition that occurs when the median nerve, located in the wrist, becomes compressed or irritated. This compression can cause a variety of uncomfortable and painful symptoms in the affected hand and arm.

Structure of the Carpal Tunnel

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway that runs through the wrist and houses the median nerve, as well as several tendons that control finger movement.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel can be caused by a variety of factors, including repetitive movements of the hands and wrists, wrist injuries, underlying medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes, and genetic factors that affect the size and shape of the carpal tunnel.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand, thumb, and fingers, especially the thumb, index, and middle fingers. The intensity of symptoms can vary from mild and intermittent to severe and constant.

Risk Factors

Some risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome include performing jobs involving repetitive hand and wrist movements, such as typing, using hand tools, or performing assembly tasks, having a genetic predisposition to carpal tunnel syndrome, having certain underlying medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, or hypothyroidism, and experiencing hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or menopause.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is usually made through a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests, such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction testing. Treatment may include conservative measures such as rest, changes in work activity, physical therapy, wrist support devices, medications to relieve pain and inflammation, and in more severe cases, surgery to release pressure on the median nerve.

Prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Preventing may involve taking steps to reduce strain on the hands and wrists, such as taking frequent breaks during activities that require repetitive movements, using ergonomic devices to support the wrists during work, practicing hand and wrist stretching and strengthening exercises, and maintaining proper posture during activities involving hand and wrist use.

Impact of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on Work

Carpal tunnel syndrome can have a significant impact on a worker’s ability to perform their job duties. Those who perform jobs involving repetitive hand and wrist movements, such as typing, using hand tools, or performing assembly tasks, are at increased risk of developing this condition. Symptoms of carpal tunnel can make it difficult to perform simple tasks, such as holding small objects, writing, or using a computer keyboard.

Compensation Rights in Arizona for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In Arizona, workers who develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of their job duties may be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries. This includes benefits such as medical care, rehabilitation treatment, compensation for loss of income, and benefits for temporary or permanent disability. To be eligible for these benefits, the worker must demonstrate that their carpal tunnel is related to their job duties and that the condition prevents them from effectively performing their work.

Claims Process

The process for obtaining compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome in Arizona begins by filing a workers’ compensation claim with the Arizona Workers’ Compensation Commission. It is important to gather strong medical evidence to support the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome and its relationship to the employee’s work. A workers’ compensation attorney can assist the worker in gathering this evidence, completing necessary documentation, and presenting a strong claim to the Commission.

Protecting Your Rights

It is essential for workers suffering from carpal tunnel to understand their rights and seek legal assistance if they believe their injuries are work-related. A workers’ compensation attorney can guide the worker through the claims process, protect their rights, and ensure they receive appropriate compensation for their injuries.

Conclusion

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a debilitating condition that affects a worker’s ability to perform their job duties. In Arizona, workers who develop this condition as a result of their job duties may have compensation rights, including medical care and income loss benefits. If you are dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome at work, it is important to seek legal assistance to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. At Taylor and Associates, we are here to help you navigate the claims process and ensure your rights are protected. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.

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