Workers’ compensation covers all manner of injuries, including repetitive motion. A repetitive motion injury, such as carpal tunnel, comes from years of doing the same actions over and over again. That could be typing at a keyboard, cutting on a cutting board, or lifting with the wrists. Carpal tunnel is often put off when it comes to surgery or recovery because it’s seen as a less-than-serious injury.
However, anyone who’s experienced carpal tunnel first-hand knows that it’s more than that. Carpal tunnel can lead to extreme pain. It can decrease your quality of life, and it can cause your hands to lock in positions, leaving you unable to accomplish anything else. It is very reasonable to file for workers’ compensation if you have carpal tunnel that was directly caused by your workplace. If you feel like you have carpal tunnel, we strongly recommend you reach out to one of our Charlotte workers compensation attorneys today.
Understanding Repetitive Motion Injuries
When it comes to repetitive motion injuries or stress injuries, you’re considering minor and temporary injuries. What happens usually is that the injury will flare up only when aggravated. That is not the case with carpal tunnel.
Although carpal tunnel can come in quite subtly, it’s often not reversible with rest. Instead, you need help or surgery in reopening and restructuring the actual tunnel. This repetitive motion injury is not something that will go away on its own, although most agree that these types of injuries only call for rest.
How Does Carpal Tunnel Occur?
Carpal tunnel happens when the median nerve gets caught in the compression of the tunnel. That tunnel runs through your wrist and allows the nerves to control the movement in the forearm and hand. The compression in that tunnel happens after a repetitive movement of the wrist in small directions.
Usually, carpal tunnel is seen in people that work on keyboards at the computer or on assembly lines. It’s also becoming more common in warehouse workers that consistently lift from waist-high up.
Carpal tunnel will inevitably become more painful and worse over time. Because of the constant use of our hands, it is nearly impossible to give carpal tunnel enough rest to heal. It’s something that many will experience through their life, but often it’s connected to the person’s career.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Carpal Tunnel?
Doctors use a variety of methods and physical inspection to determine if carpal tunnel is the correct diagnosis. Initially, the doctor may press or tap across the nerve that runs through the tunnel. What they’re looking for is a reflex response similar to a leg kick when hitting just below your knee.
Additionally, they’ll ask about your symptoms if you’re having tingling or numbness in your fingers.
Doctors could also use an assessment called Phalen’s Maneuver. This test will help doctors determine if you have carpal tunnel or not. This test starts with putting your wrists together with the back of your hands facing each other and then holding the fingers pointed down for a minute or two. After a minute or two passes, if your fingers tingle or go numb, you likely have carpal tunnel.
Will You Be Able To File for Workers’ Compensation?
Ideally, you could file for workers’ compensation to pay for surgery, other medical costs, and your time lost at work. The recovery time is relatively short, so it’s challenging to apply for SSDI for any type of relief. Instead, usually, workers’ compensation is the only option for any type of financial support.
When you’re looking at weeks of time off work and recovery, you’ll need to file. Putting in your application for workers’ compensation should be easy. Unfortunately, repetitive motion injuries are always tricky to take forward as a workers’ compensation case.
Should You Reach Out To A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in North Carolina?
Working with a North Carolina workers compensation lawyer is often the start of a much easier process. Not only are you out from under your employer’s thumb, but you can now assess the situation without worry. A worker’s comp attorney’s job is to go through the medical evidence and help you determine how you should apply and how to submit your proof.
For carpal tunnel, you’ll need to show extensive medical diagnosis and treatment plans to get compensation. This injury isn’t one that is easy to tie to work unless you know for sure that it stemmed from typing, lifting, or other repetitive activities. Additionally, your employer will likely fight against the claim based on your need to take responsibility for wrist stretches and exercise. It’s a sad attempt to divert from the issue. Instead, hire a North Carolina workers comp attorney right here in Charlotte!