In a previous post, our blog discussed how every year thousands of workers in all types of industries are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition typically characterized by pain, weakness and/or general numbness in the hands that can seriously affect a person's ability to perform their job.
Every year, thousands of workers in all types of industries -- from offices to factories -- experience a pain, weakness and/or general numbness in their hands that not only affects their ability to perform their job, but their overall quality of life as well. For many of these workers, a trip to the doctor's office may verify what they already suspected: they have developed carpal tunnel syndrome.
Every day, people throughout Chicago take off their coats, pull out their chairs and sit down at their desks for another day of work. This of course means another eight to ten hours spent sitting in front of their computer monitors, pounding away at a keyboard while they prepare reports or enter figures into a spreadsheet.
Most workers today have heard of the condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. While a few decades ago the injury was not well known or understood, now even those outside the medical community are aware it is a common and damaging workplace injury. However, many are still unaware that carpal tunnel has a sibling. This injury, known as tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS), is very similar in cause and symptoms, but affects the leg and foot rather than the arm and hand. And though it is also a fairly common injury, lack of awareness about the condition among workers too often means that their pain goes unreported and untreated.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, an injury which affects the wrist and hands, continues to be one of the most commonly reported work-related injuries. The carpal tunnel is a narrow area of the wrist through which the median nerve and tendons pass from the arm into the hand. Repetitive motion or injury can cause this area to swell, putting pressure on the nerve and tendons, and causing carpal tunnel syndrome. Syndrome sufferers experience symptoms in the affected hand and wrist ranging from varying degrees of pain, reduced range of motion, tingling and/or loss of feeling, and even a total or near-total inability to use the affected hand altogether. As nearly every job function requires the use of the hands, often in repetitive motions like keyboard or tool use, this injury is responsible for an exceptionally large number of injuries in the work place. With so many workers facing this potentially debilitating injury, it can be helpful to understand what treatment options are available.
Almost everyone, from a construction worker to an office worker, uses their hands at work. Perhaps you do fine work such as repairing tiny electric components, lift and place repeatedly product onto store shelves, or simply type at a keyboard or register for long periods of time. What these workers may not be aware of is that many of them are at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.