Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a disease of the wrist caused by constitutional or environmental factors. It usually presents itself as reduced movement, tingling, numbness or pain in the wrist and fingers. The condition is caused by pressure being placed upon the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel from the wrist into the hand. Several fingers are provided with sensation by the median nerve hence the reason that they are affected when the median nerve becomes compressed. Symptoms are usually worse at night.

Can I Claim for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

If your job role consists of manual, repetitive work involving the hands and wrists it is possible that this is the cause or your carpal tunnel. Exposure to vibratory tools can also bring on carpal tunnel syndrome and you may also be able to bring a claim if you think this may be the cause of your condition.

Roberts Jackson Solicitors can help you bring a claim on a no win no fee basis or alternatively just provide you with free, no obligation legal advice if you have any concerns. Get in touch with us today to speak to the industrial disease experts at Roberts Jackson.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel

CTS can be caused by constitutional factors such as diabetes, poor health, pregnancy, obesity, family history or hypothyroidism. Inflammation due to any of the above factors causes blood vessels in the surrounding to expand and put pressure on the median nerve.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a prescribed disease and is covered by the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit scheme (IIDB). There are 2 types of occupational exposure that may cause CTS, they are repetition and vibration. Statistically, a woman is more likely to be diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel, however the reason for this is not abundantly clear.

Repetitive Carpal Tunnel

Repetitive CTS is caused by repeated palmer flexion and dorsiflexion of the wrist over a prolonged period of time. This causes inflammation and pressure on the median nerve which in turn causes the symptoms described above. Claims for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome due to repetitive exposure at work come from a variety of industries including:-

  • Production line work
  • Secretaries/Typists
  • Construction work
  • Machinists.

It is worth noting that this list is non exhaustive and any occupation that involves a task with a lot of repetition, especially of the wrist, could cause Carpal Tunnel.

Vibratory Carpal Tunnel

Vibratory CTS is caused by prolonged use of vibrating tools and machinery such as jackhammers, impact wrenches and drills. The link between vibration and the development of CTS is disputed in some quarters due to inconsistent research in the area. For the time being however the condition remains an IIDB prescribed disease. Workers at risk are usually employed in the following industries:-

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Shipbuilding

Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Traditionally the test to diagnose CTS, whether it be caused by repetition or vibration, has been by way of the Phalen’s or Tinel’s test. Both tests seek to provoke a response of tingling by stimulating the relevant area however a nerve conduction study is considered to be most accurate way to diagnose CTS.

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome you may be offered a variety of treatments including physiotherapy and injections to alleviate the symptoms. A CTS release operation however treats the cause of the disease rather than alleviate the symptoms and is usually done on a day patient basis. This however is usually a treatment of last resort after other treatments have failed.

If you or anybody you know are suffering from any of the symptoms described above you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. You will need to attend your GP for a formal diagnosis and treatment plan. If you believe that your occupation has caused your symptoms either by exposure to repetition or vibration then contact Roberts Jackson Solicitor without delay as time limits may apply.