Carpal tunnel syndrome is not associated with an accident, but is instead an injury that comes into play over the course of time.
For example, people who use their hands for their job, such as secretaries and hair dressers, are prone to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. If this happens, you'll find it difficult to use your hands in the way you've become accustomed. Subsequently, this can affect your ability to do your job.
Your doctor can run a variety of tests to determine if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, including the following:
- Physical exam: More specifically, your doctor will test the strength of the muscles in your hands and fingers.
- History of symptoms: A thorough review of your symptoms is often enough to give your doctor the suspicion that you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
- X-ray: This can exclude other causes of similar symptoms, such as a wrist fracture or arthritis.
- Nerve conduction study: By passing a small shock through the median nerve, your doctor is able to see if impulses are slowed in the carpal tunnel.
If you're diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, it's best to seek treatment as quickly as possible. The longer you wait the more trouble you can cause. In addition to regular breaks during your workday, there are other non-surgical therapies that have been proven effective for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Wrist splinting during the nighttime hours
- Medication, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids
If your symptoms don't subside with non-surgical treatment, your doctor may suggest either endoscopic or open surgery. Either way, the goal is to free the nerve to reduce pain and avoid future issues. While surgery is not the first line of treatment, there may come a point when it's the only way to obtain relief.
If you're diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, share this with your supervisor and HR department. Furthermore, if your medical team suggests time away from work, let your company know that you're taking a break to recover.
This is also a good time to learn more about workers' compensation benefits in New Jersey, as you may qualify to receive regular payments until you're able to return to work.
Visit our website and read our blog for more information on obtaining workers' compensation benefits, fighting a denial and much more.