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Carpal tunnel syndrome: symptoms and possible prevention

Many Southern New Jersey residents work in blue collar or labor-intensive jobs that put stress and strain on the body. While a worker may take pride in their work ethic and abilities, they may not realize the extent of stress their body is enduring until it is too late. The reality is that a great number of Jersey residents can fall victim to a work injury or illness that renders them unable to work. For those people, workers' compensation exists to help offset the financial burden that is caused from a work injury.

Workers' compensation covers injuries and illnesses such as a repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. This causes pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist that can radiate up the arm. Those workers most at-risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome include those in assembly line work and single-industry work such as typing.

It may be possible for carpal tunnel syndrome to be prevented from ever developing in workers. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stokes, employers can develop programs in ergonomics, which is the process of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of workers. The improvement of workplace practices can completely change the way workers are asked to address their employment duties and thus help prevent prevalent injuries in that industry.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often a chronic condition that becomes a life-long ailment for those affected. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness on the job, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. To recover compensation, however, such benefits must first be requested. If your request is denied, do not lose hope, as there are ways to try again and succeed in receiving the benefits that are deserved.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet," accessed Oct. 5, 2015

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