Many people in Connecticut depend upon their hands to earn a living. Brick layers, carpenters, factory workers, and administrative assistants are only a few examples of such occupations. For anyone in one of these occupations, an injury to the hand can have a devastating impact on their earning capacity. One of the most debilitating injuries that can affect the hands is carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause a number of symptoms, including tingling in the hands and fingers, numbness, and pain in the hand, wrist and arm. The syndrome most commonly affects people who perform repetitive movements with their hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome usually announces its presence with gradual numbness or tingling in the thumb, index finger, or middle finger. The tingling often spreads to the wrist and upper arm. Another symptom is the tendency to drop objects as the hand’s pinching muscles become weaker.

Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome range from the anatomy of a person’s hand or wrist, to a fracture and specific work duties. The syndrome is caused by a compressed nerve in the carpal tunnel, a narrow nerve passageway on the palm side of the wrist. Fortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated non-surgically through the use of wrist splints and frequent rest. Conditions that do not respond to such treatment may require surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve.

Because carpal tunnel syndrome is commonly caused by workplace factors such as repetitive stress, the injury is usually eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Anyone who experiences tingling and numbness in the hand or wrist may wish to obtain a competent medical diagnosis. If carpal tunnel syndrome is the diagnosis, a visit with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can result in obtaining information on the likelihood recovering benefits and the amount and duration of any such benefits.

Source: Mayo Clinic, “Carpal tunnel syndrome,” accessed on Oct. 15, 2017