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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and How it Impacts Your Ability to Work

May 29, 2017
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and How it Impacts Your Ability to Work

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand or arm. The condition occurs when the median nerve is squeezed as it travels through the wrist.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a variety of factors, but women and elderly people are at a higher risk of developing the syndrome, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The most well-known risk factor is receptive hand use, especially if done in a position of extreme wrist flexion or extension for prolonged periods. Heredity, pregnancy, and conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to get worse over time, so early diagnosis is important for managing pain and taking correction action. If you have numbness or pain in the hand or wrist, you should make sure you are not doing any activities that are making your carpal tunnel syndrome worse.

A doctor can perform EMGs, nerve conduction studies, or ultrasounds to diagnose your carpal tunnel syndrome. If you later need to apply for long-term disability insurance benefits, you will need these tests as proof of your condition.

You may be able to treat your condition with wrist splints, activity changes, or certain exercises. If your job duties require you to perform activities that worsen your carpal tunnel syndrome, you may want to talk to your human resources department to see if you can request different job duties, or reduce the amount of time spent on certain duties.

There is also surgical treatment available for carpal tunnel syndrome. This surgery attempts to release pressure on your median nerve to reduce or eliminate your carpal tunnel syndrome.

Insurance companies will sometimes insist that you have carpal tunnel surgery before accepting your claim for long-term disability benefits. However, you may not necessarily want or need to have surgery, and you may be able to succeed in your claim without having surgical treatment. If you need assistance dealing with the insurance companies in your disability claim for carpal tunnel syndrome, talk to a long-term disability attorney. If your claim is denied, you have the option to first file an internal appeal within the insurance company, and then take your case to court. 

Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick handles long-term disability claim denials and appeals. We know how the insurance companies operate, and we can help you strengthen your claim for disability benefits. Contact us for a free consultation with a long-term disability attorney.