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Can I get workers' compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome?

In Colorado, workers' compensation is available for workers who get injured on the job or suffer from a work-related condition. Repetitive stress injuries are among the most typical work-related conditions. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common repetitive stress injury that often results from regular computer use or repetitive tasks with similar motions.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow spot in your wrist where the medial nerve and tendons run close to one another. If, for whatever reason, this spot becomes compressed, the resulting pressure on the nerve and tendons can cause numbness and pain in your hand, as well as decreased function.

Compression in the carpal tunnel area typically occurs as a result of repetitive hand and finger motions. Workers whose regular tasks include typing, slicing and other repetitive uses of the wrist and fingers often develop this issue.

Symptoms and effects

Because carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain and weakness, it often leads to a decreased ability to perform one's job duties and is among the top factors causing missed workdays and loss of productivity. Its symptoms also affect the worker's quality of life and ability to perform the tasks of daily living.

There are several treatments available for this condition, the most drastic of which is surgery to make an incision in the ligament in order to provide more room for the nerve and tendons. Other remedies include steroid injections, splinting and rest.

Filing a workers' comp claim

While workers' compensation often covers carpal tunnel syndrome either as an accident or an occupational disease, many claimants encounter obstacles in getting their claims approved. Because carpal tunnel syndrome can arise from causes besides work duties, insurance companies may argue that your condition is not work-related. Workers with arthritis and diabetes may have a harder time with their claims, as these health conditions can also cause or aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome.

Filing a claim can also prove difficult when a worker does not have a comprehensive medical record for this particular condition. Many people take a long time to realize the nature of their problem and assume they are just experiencing some minor wrist pain which should resolve shortly. Only when it keeps getting worse do most begin to realize that this will not go away without medical intervention.

If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important for you to consult an experienced attorney. Getting workers' compensation can be difficult, so you need someone who understands the process thoroughly. Look for a knowledgeable lawyer who can help you get the compensation you need.

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