Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has now become a household ailment. This syndrome is basically associated with the wrist and all fingers except the little finger. The wrist has a median nerve that supplies impulses to the fingers and when this nerve is subjected to pressure it gets “pinched” as one may call it, causing stiffness in the region especially during sleep. Though this seems like a very plain and uncomplicated ailment, the pain and discomfort completely unsettle the person.
Why Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Called So?
The median nerve runs through a small space or “tunnel” like form in the wrist region. When this tunnel becomes smaller, the median nerve comes under stress. This can also be the result of repeated movements of the wrist in the same fashion over a period.
The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) starts with discomfort or some tingling sensations in the wrist and first four fingers as mentioned. You will find none of the symptoms with the little finger as the nerve supplying feeling to it is a different one. As the ailment aggravates, there will be a lack of sensation, pain, and fatigue. Many complain of having pain in the forearm area.
CTS can happen when there is swelling due to conditions like diabetes, arthritis or even pregnancy. Hypothyroidism can also cause swelling which in turn stresses the carpal tunnel. Swelling as a consequence of obesity is also found to be a common reason for the occurrence of this syndrome. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in the USA has stated that the palm or wrist can be subjected to constant vibrations and mechanical stress; as in the case of typists, bakers who spend a lot of time in kneading dough, workers who are in dairy farms milking cows through the day, people who sew and knit constantly, people who use laser scanner at work repetitively, assembly workers who use air-powered hand tools or more commonly with people who work with computers involving more usage of keyboard and mouse. These people are at increased risk of developing Carpal syndrome.
The symptoms can be reduced by exercising the fingers and wrist or by giving adequate rest periods through the day or by using cold packs. The severity of symptoms helps doctors decide on the remedial route to take. For mild symptoms seen over a period of a year, doctors advise medicines which are intended to reduce inflammation. On a case to case basis, these may be steroids or non-steroidal drugs. Use of wrist splints during the nights may also be advised as this reduces flexing of the wrist. However, in extreme cases, surgery may be the only option left. Endoscopic or open surgeries can be conducted, but after these surgeries, it takes weeks to reach to normalcy.
As per Houston’s Worker Compensation Laws, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Houston comes under the category of “Bodily reaction injuries” or “Repetitive Stress Injury” (RSI) or “ Cumulative Injury” which includes injury to any body part as a reaction to daily work using that part or injury caused by repeated stress on a particular body part. Since there are many reasons for this ailment, it is important to understand Texas State’s Workers’ Compensation Laws as insurance companies can easily deny your claim on various grounds. It becomes necessary for the employee to be able to prove or substantiate the claim. This is where the employee needs to take assistance from professionals who will not only help in filling the claim form, but will also help you support your claim appropriately.
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