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Employers need ergonomic workstations to avoid carpal tunnel

You get to work and start typing. Eight hours later you leave your Denver office and have spent most of your day in front of a computer. When you get home you start to notice that your hands and fingers are numb or tingling. After some time, you go to your doctor and are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, a common occupational disease that many Colorado employees are starting to develop.

Though carpal tunnel syndrome cannot be caused solely by typing, it is important that your employer have an ergonomic set up for your workstation. If your workstation is set up in such a way that it exposes you to a greater risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important to get an ergonomic assessment. One hand- and plastic-surgeon says that an ergonomic overhaul of your workstation is an important first step in trying to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

If ergonomics don't help, your physician may have you start wearing a wrist splint and strengthening your wrists by doing a few exercises. In some cases, however, it is better to have a carpal tunnel release. This surgical treatment involves cutting a wrist ligament that puts pressure on the median nerve in the hand and wrist.

In fact, surgical intervention may be the best choice for someone who is living with carpal tunnel syndrome. If performed early enough, much of the numbness and tingling can be reversed. The longer someone waits, however, the more likely the nerve damage will be permanent.

If you find yourself dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Denver employees who develop occupational diseases should speak with an attorney to get some clarity on whether workers' compensation is available.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Treatment options exist for carpal tunnel," Bonnie Miller Rubin, June 6, 2012

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Eley Law Firm
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