Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a debilitating condition caused by the compression of the median nerve within the wrist. Because of this, the condition is heavily linked with Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), although it should be said that the conditions are distinctly different.
In this guide, we wil outline the causes of CTS, how to treat it and how we can help if you have developed CTS due to your job.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel
CTS can be caused or exacerbated by repetitive movements. Therefore, you should try to avoid using your hands for unnecessary tasks at home and at work. For example, spending a long time on a computer using a keyboard or a tablet/smartphone at home will only make the condition worse.
High-risk job roles and tasks that should be avoided are ones that require you to work very fast in order to hit targets. Assembly lines, stock processing warehouses and heavy labour jobs in particular are common workplaces associated with the diagnosis of CTS.
We acknowledge that avoiding repetitive tasks at work can be difficult though. However, your employer is legally obliged to do everything they reasonably can to protect your physical well-being while you are at work. Furthermore, if you develop a condition or have a pre-existing condition, they have to make reasonable adjustments to your working environment and your duties in order to accommodate you.
You should inform your employer of your condition then and explain the situation. They should then support you in every way they can and carry out risk assessments on your workspace. You may be able to pursue a claim for compensation if your work has caused or exacerbated your condition.
The difference between Carpal Tunnel and Vibratory Carpal Tunnel
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also be brought on by the constant use of vibratory tools, such as pneumatic drills, chainsaws, and grinders. This is known as Vibratory Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (VCTS). The symptoms are similar, but the cause of the condition is heavy vibration affecting the wrists and causing swelling which, in turn, puts pressure on the median nerve. In these cases, the cause of the condition is almost always due to the sufferer’s occupation as well as using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) when operating tools.
Anyone who operates heavy hand tools, especially ones that emit high levels of vibration are at high risk of contracting VCTS and another condition known as Vibration White Finger.
Treatments for Carpal Tunnel
Corticosteroid injections are a possible form of treatment and can be provided by the NHS. This is a non-invasive treatment and does not require surgery. Other basic treatments can be simply applying a wrist splint to support your wrist on a daily basis.
Decompression or release surgery is also available on the NHS. As it is a surgical intervention, this procedure will not be considered by a medical professional unless the condition is very severe and other treatments have not worked though.
How can The Compensation Experts help?
If you have been affected by CTS or VCTS and believe it to be work-related The Compensation Experts can provide legal assistance and help you obtain compensation on a No Win No Fee basis. Our offices are open Monday–Friday 9 am–5 pm and our expert advisors are always on hand to discuss. If you are thinking about making a claim why not get in touch today for a brief, no-obligation chat today.
If you believe that your workplace environment or your tasks at work have caused CTS to develop, you should first speak to your employer to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made. If these do not occur, and you then develop the condition or your condition worsens, then your employer is liable and you may be able to claim compensation from them.
At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in making successful industrial disease and workplace injury compensation claims. We and the legal firms we work with have a lot of experience in these cases and so, are well-placed to help you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. After your initial consultation with our advisors, which is done on a free no-obligation basis, we will match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your case.
If you decide to progress your claim, your solicitor will collect any evidence to help build the strongest possible case to support your claim. This evidence will be used not only to prove your entitlement to compensation but also to show the extent of your physical and financial suffering to ensure the amount you receive is fair.