You might think of injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation benefits as the kind that occur to people with hazardous jobs such as those in construction or manufacturing work.
However, injuries can also happen to workers with desk jobs. For example, it is not uncommon for typists to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, an injury that may have long-term consequences.
Why it occurs
The carpal tunnel is located in the wrist. It consists of bones, tendons, nerves and connective tissue. Repetitive motion can cause inflammation in this area, squeezing the nerves that pass through the carpal tunnel. Discomfort follows and your fingers lose much of their flexibility.
What to expect
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often begin with numbness or a tingling sensation in the fingers. The hand that controls the mouse at a computer is usually the one affected. The discomfort will become more pronounced as you put additional pressure on the nerves. Over time, the wrist and hand muscles will atrophy and the tasks you expect to accomplish with your hand will become difficult if not impossible.
How to manage it
It is a good idea to seek a medical evaluation promptly since the condition can worsen over time. Keep in mind that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a disability that qualifies you for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the onset. An advocate familiar with the process can assist you in complying with the rules established by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.