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The basics on carpal tunnel syndrome and its symptoms

An increasing number of people Colorado Springs are working in an office and in front of a computer. Though the jobs may be physically less demanding, new repetitive stress injuries are emerging from the activities office workers do perform: typing. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common types of occupational disease and, without treatment, could make it very difficult to continue working, making an employee eligible for workers' compensation.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of the injury, however, could help with earlier detection and treatment. One of the most likely symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome is pain or numbness in middle and index fingers and thumbs. Some cases, however, present themselves with numbness in the entire hand. These kinds of symptoms can make it especially difficult to hold and grasp objects. Workers who are dropping things more easily or have any weakness in their arms or hands may be living with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive motions, often motions performed in the office, such as typing. As individuals continuously repeat the same actions, the carpal tunnel in their wrists may start to swell, which will press against the median nerve. It is this pressure that causes tingling, pain and numbness. Employees who continue to make the same repetitive motions will likely experience worsened symptoms.

There are treatments for this repetitive stress injury that Colorado Springs workers can take advantage of. Ranging from rest and stretching to surgery and steroid injections, it is important to note that workers' compensation may help cover the medical and living costs associated with the condition.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, "Doc Talk: Five things you should know about carpal tunnel syndrome," Robbie O'Brien-Leighton, Nov. 13, 2012

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