Every job can start to feel repetitive at times, even if you love it and for good reason: There are some tasks that you perform over and over again. The result of this is a physical manifestation of pain due to the strain placed on the body. Injuries that result from these type of job functions are called repetitive injuries, and one may wonder if they are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. One such injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. There are certain times when something like this is directly related to your work.
What Is a Repetitive Injury and What Causes It?
When a task is required to be repeated, the muscles that perform it can suffer from strain and overuse. Eventually, this leads to pain, and if the activity continues without intervention, the damage can become permanent. The stress and strain can happen to almost any body part, especially the shoulders, back, knees and hands. If a job requires repetitive motion to one or more body parts, the pain and injury that occurs may be attributed to work.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A common culprit of repetitive stress injuries is typing. The constant movement over a keyboard and use of a mouse can put pressure on the muscles in the hands and wrists. These muscles become inflamed and eventually place pressure on the nerves running through the arm. Carpal tunnel develops when the median nerve, the main pathway through the wrist and hand, is pinched for too long. If the condition is not treated at the onset of symptoms, it can cause permanent damage such as:
- Loss of grip strength
- Inability to freely move fingers
- Numbness and tingling in the hand and wrist
Some steps can be taken to minimize the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome even after symptoms begin to manifest.
Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
If your position requires you to perform heavy typing day in and day out, you may be able to make a claim against your employer for the treatment of your carpal tunnel syndrome. However, you must be able to prove that the majority of the damage was done due to the demands of your job and not outside forces. One of the biggest hurdles you may have to overcome is the type of activities you engage in off the clock. Do you play tennis or enjoy working on a blog? Insurance providers are going to investigate your personal life to find contributing factors.
Suffering a repetitive injury can be something painful to endure and expensive to treat. It is advised that you not only seek the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer to receive your best chance of getting the type of care required.