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Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome A Work Related Injury?

Getting injured on the job in America meant a very different thing in the 20th century. Back then, America was primarily a country of industry and agriculture. So injuries then—and to a degree even today—were related to more physically demanding activities. People injured in construction accidents or on a farm, or even in a factory were commonplace.

Today, however, America is more of a service and technology country than it is an industrial one. Many people that hold jobs don’t see the inside of a factory or a building being put up. Instead, they spend a lot of time working the till in a retail setting, or in an office, entering data into a computer. As a result, the nature of work-related injuries has changed as well.

There’s one, in particular, that is affecting a lot of people, on an everyday basis, and it’s known as carpal tunnel syndrome. But it might also affect people on the job as well.

What Is It?

Carpal tunnel syndrome gets its name from the carpal bones that run from one side of your wrist to the other. This is where a bundle of nerves, called the median nerve, sits, that controls both the ability to move and feel from your fingers. If the bones in the cIs Carpal Tunnel Syndrome A Work Related Injury?arpal tunnel swell, this can apply pressure or compression on the median nerve this can cause discomfort, tingling, numbness, or even pain in the fingers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually caused by repeated actions that put constant stress on the same muscles and bones over and over again. This is why carpal tunnel syndrome was initially a problem that only musicians experienced, but gradually as more hand-intensive, repetitive tasks became common, such as assembly on a factory line, or typing on a keyboard, CTS spread to many other professions.

The Consequences

If CTS gets too pronounced it can have some noticeable, negative effects. Severe CTS can cause slower nerve impulse transmission, meaning that the hands simply react slower. It can result in a permanent loss of feeling in the fingers, and can even lead to a loss of strength in the thumb, meaning that any thumb related activities, such as flipping switches—or even playing video games—may now be much more difficult.

CTS In Florida

Carpal tunnel syndrome is, at least in the state of Florida, considered an occupational disease. However, in order to qualify for CTS coverage when filing for workers comp, the burden of proof rests on the employee. That is to say, the employee must prove that the CTS is a result of work, and not other activities. If, for example, the employee is a musician as a hobby, and practices regularly on the piano or guitar, then it might be argued that the CTS arose as a result of the musical hobby, and not because of the job at all.

This is why it’s important for employees considering filing for workers comp to ensure that they really do have “all the facts” about their CTS. An office worker who spends most of the workday typing, and then goes home to relax by reading and watching TV is much more likely to prove that CTS is work-related versus an office worker that types all day, then spends most nights and weekends on the computer, writing fiction, or contributing to forums and social media.

If you’re thinking that you’ve contracted carpal tunnel syndrome from work, but you want to be sure that you’re that you’ve got a strong claim for workers comp, try talking to a workers comp lawyer about your situation. See if you’ve got everything you need to move forward.