What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve condition which affects a person’s wrists and hands. It is caused by carrying out repetitive tasks, so can often develop from frequent repetitive tasks like typing or factory work. It can also develop from frequent contact with vibration, so can develop in people who work with vibratory tools on a regular basis.
It can be incredibly painful for the sufferer and often restricts movement in the hand and wrist. This is because the condition causes compression on a nerve called the ‘median nerve’ which runs down the middle of your arm, all the way from your elbow down to your fingers.
There are a range of symptoms which are caused by the condition. Some signs of carpal tunnel syndrome you might notice are:
- Numbness in your fingers or whole hand
- Tingling or pins and needles
- Aching in fingers, hands or arms
- Weakness in fingers and thumbs
- Difficulty gripping and holding onto things
All of these symptoms can have a big impact on your day-to-day life, and may affect relationships and your ability to enjoy social situations. The condition can also affect your ability to work. Many people file carpal tunnel syndrome claims because their condition has got so bad that they have had to stop working, either temporarily or permanently. A claim can help to financially compensate someone suffering with the condition who has had to stop working, which can help free them from financial worries.
Jobs at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome
There are certain industries and jobs in which workers are at a higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome because of the repetitive nature of their tasks. These job roles include production line work in factories, construction work and secretarial work, but really any job which involves repetitive movement can lead to a person developing repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel. Target-driven environments like manufacturing work can also often cause repetitive strain injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome to develop in their workers because of the nature of their job roles and the task they have to carry out.
Another type of carpal tunnel syndrome is related to the use of vibratory tools. There are certain industries which frequently use vibratory tools which can lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, including construction, engineering, shipbuilding and manufacturing. Tools and machinery which can cause vibration-related carpal tunnel syndrome and that might be used in these industries include:
- Impact wrenches
- Power drills
Whether you work with vibratory tools or frequently perform repetitive movement at work, carpal tunnel syndrome can develop and have a large impact on how you live your life. It can be painful and make simple task difficult.
Although there is no cure for the condition, there are ways that your employer can prevent it from developing in the first place, such as allowing you to take regular breaks from work or providing you with protective equipment such as gloves or wrist rests. Your employer should take steps to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome developing, but if they don’t, then you could claim compensation for their negligence leading to your suffering.