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Carpal tunnel syndrome can impact your ability to work

Are you feeling weakness, tingling or numbness in your hand and/or wrist? Is it making it difficult to do your job?

If so, you’ll want to consult with your doctor about the cause of the pain. You may find that you have carpal tunnel syndrome.

This ailment is caused by pressure on your medial nerve, and can result in symptoms such as:

  • Burning sensation in your hand, wrist and/or fingers
  • Tingling sensation
  • Itching
  • Numbness
  • A feeling that your fingers have fallen asleep, especially when you’re sleeping

Could you develop carpal tunnel syndrome?

Anyone can develop carpal tunnel syndrome but it is more likely among people who excessively use their hands, day in and day out. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Construction workers
  • Assembly line workers
  • Cashiers
  • Hair stylists
  • Secretaries and receptionists

Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome?

If you present to your doctor with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, they may be able to diagnose your condition on the spot.

For example, your doctor may ask you to extend your arm and flex your wrist. This gives them a clear idea of your flexibility, which is typically hindered if you have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Also, your doctor may order an EMG-NCV test to measure the function of your nerve.

What type of treatment is best?

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, so you’ll want to work with your doctor to decide what’s best. Some of your options include:

  • Medication: For example, steroids can reduce swelling and help speed up the recovery process.
  • Lifestyle changes: If your carpal tunnel syndrome is directly related to your career, you may need to change your approach at work. A common example is taking more breaks throughout your workday.
  • Immobilization: The use of a splint, both during the day and at night, can keep your wrist from moving, thus reducing the likelihood of aggravating your condition.
  • Surgery: In the most severe of cases, surgery may be necessary to treat your ailment once and for all.

If your carpal tunnel syndrome is a direct result of your employment, share your diagnosis with your HR department and file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You may be able to receive compensation until you can return to work.

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