Carpal tunnel syndrome results from nerve compression within the wrist, which gradually progresses from mild discomfort to severe pain, atrophied muscles in the hand, or loss of control over fine motor skills. Commonly characterized as a “desk job disease”, carpal tunnel syndrome is actually the most common in assembly line workers, and according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), “women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome”.
The earlier carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed, the better. Besides general physical examination, specific tests used to recognize the syndrome include applying pressure to the median nerve in the wrist, a wrist flexion test, and other specific movement tests that would show carpal tunnel symptoms.
According to the severity of the nerve damage, treatment can range from over-the-counter painkillers or mild physical therapy, to wrist surgery. If surgery is necessary, it can take months to recover and physical therapy is usually needed to build up wrist strength again.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be debilitating and prevent a person from working during onset and recovery. However, someone in this situation may qualify for disability benefits through social security. Disability benefits claims are often denied on minor mistakes in paperwork, so it is recommended to consult a professional who can walk you through the claims appeals process rather than attempting to re-apply for a claim, and can get you the compensation you deserve.