shutterstock_1150429112_R62nxRO.jpeg (shutterstock_1150429112.webp)At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, we accept worker’s compensation for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Here are some important things to know about carpal tunnel syndrome as it occurs in the workplace:

Excessive Action Creates Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

When you manipulate your wrist and fingers, the surrounding tendons and muscles are responsible for making those movements happen. Each of the tendons in your hand lies inside of a sleeve called a “sheath” which is lubricated for the tendon to slide in and out as you move. When these tendons are moved excessively or repetitively, these sheaths can lose their lubrication, resulting in friction, inflammation, and swelling of the tendons themselves. Once these tendons become swollen, they can begin to put pressure on the median nerve in the wrist inside of the “carpal tunnel.” This is why the condition is known as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

Certain Workplace Tasks Can Worsen Your Condition

While moving your hands frequently is normal, there are certain circumstances in which your job may require you to move them abnormally or repetitively, increasing your risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Some risk factors include:

  • Keeping hands in an awkward position
  • Performing repetitive hand motions
  • Keeping your hands in a strong grip
  • Touching or gripping something that vibrates for long periods of time
  • Placing mechanical stress on the palms of the hands

Certain industries are also known for placing exceptional amounts of strain on their workers’ wrists and hands, including:

  • Packaging
  • Cashier work
  • Kitchen work
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Cleaning
  • Construction work
  • Carpentry
  • Landscaping
  • And more

It’s also possible that even those with desk jobs could be at particular risk for carpal tunnel syndrome, as typing and using a mouse repetitively can put a strain on the hands and wrists if performed without breaks.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Preventable

Many of the situations that result in workers developing carpal tunnel syndrome are preventable with cooperation between workers and their employers. To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome workstations should be designed in a way that minimizes workers’ need to place their risks in awkward positions or remain in the same position repetitively, and they should be adjustable to accommodate the needs of people of different sizes. Additionally, workers should practice occupational safety and be permitted to take frequent breaks to avoid wrist pain and prevent overuse.

Our team of orthopedic specialists, Dr. Matthew Bernstein, Dr. Mark Yaffe and Dr. Brett Schiffman are experts in treating carpal tunnel syndrome, learn more here:

If you are suffering from a work-related injury, don’t wait to seek treatment. The team at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists proudly accepts worker’s compensation and is committed to your total recovery. Ready to get started? Request an appointment with us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can occupational health measures help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome at work?

Yes, implementing preventive measures in the workplace can help reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. These measures may include adjusting workstations to minimize awkward hand positions and repetitive movements, allowing for frequent breaks, and promoting occupational safety practices.

Are there any risk factors that make someone more susceptible to developing carpal tunnel syndrome?

Yes, certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. These include diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, having a smaller carpal tunnel, and experiencing neck pain or discomfort.

Why is the median nerve distribution commonly affected by carpal tunnel syndrome?

The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, which is where it can become compressed and inflamed. This compression can occur due to repetitive hand movements or other job tasks that put strain on the wrists.

Who is more likely to have CTS?

People who have smaller carpal tunnels may be more likely to develop CTS. Women are three times more likely than men to develop CTS. The reasons remain unclear, however, it is suspected that hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause may play a role.