Not all work injuries occur from one-time accidents; some develop over time. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of repetitive motion injury that results from repeated use of the hand in the same manner, usually over the course of several months.
If you have work-related carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be entitled to compensation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. have over 35 years of experience representing workers suffering from all types of workplace injuries, including repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve in the hand. The compression occurs when the carpal tunnel is narrowed, usually due to swelling.
Carpal tunnel can be caused by certain health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, obesity, and pregnancy. However, it can also be caused due to repetitive work tasks such as:
- Assembly line work
- Agricultural work
- Construction work
- Using vibrating power tools
- Grasping/moving objects
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome develops over time, when the same task is performed over and over again. Symptoms may at first appear only at night, then eventually appear during the day as well. They may also come and go, with shorter times in between as time goes on.
Here are some common early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Hand frequently falls asleep
- Hand weakness
- Decreased dexterity
- Pain in hand, arm and shoulder
- Burning sensation
- Fingers feel swollen
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If caught early enough, carpal tunnel syndrome may be treated by a combination of physical therapy and lifestyle changes. Those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome may receive non-surgical treatment such as inflammation-reducing medication, steroid injections, and wrist splints.
However, if the pain and symptoms are severe, surgery may be required. If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome may cause permanent nerve damage, weakness, and loss of hand function.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of workplace injury covered by workers’ compensation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Employers will often try to deny workers’ compensation claims for repetitive stress injuries, by blaming such injuries on non-work-related factors. However, even workers with a preexisting injury are entitled to workers’ compensation if their work tasks aggravated the injury.
If you developed carpal tunnel syndrome due to your work, it is important to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is generally three years from the date of the injury, discovery, or exposure.
If your employer denies your claim or seeks to terminate your benefits before your injury has healed, it may be in your best interest to hire an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you get all the benefits to which you are entitled.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Obtain Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you suffer from work-related carpal tunnel syndrome, contact a Philadelphia work injury lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County. For a free consultation, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.