Analysis by Transparency Market Research has been released that have detailed the growth forecasts of the global carpal tunnel marketand have estimated that the increasing demand for better quality surgical procedures will lead to the market thriving by 2026. Making a carpal tunnel claim is something that is becoming increasingly frequent in a multitude of different industries, and it can be suffered by lots of people in different jobs.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is repeatedly squeezed as it travels through the wrist. The carpal tunnel protects this median nerve and is a narrow passageway in the wrist that is about an inch wide. The floor and sides of the tunnel are formed by small wrist bones that are called carpal bones. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tunnel becomes narrowed or when tissues surrounding the flexor tendons swell, putting pressure on the median nerve. This abnormal pressure on the nerve can result in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand. The symptoms can include:
- Numbness in the fingers or in the whole hand
- Tingling or pins and needles
- Aching in the fingers, hands or arms
- Weakness in the thumb and difficulty gripping
- Dropping things due to a weakness, numbness, or a loss of proprioception (awareness of where your hand is in space)
Symptoms can sometimes be particularly bad at night. This is because many people sleep with their wrists bent, putting pressure on the nerve. During the daytime, symptoms can often be exacerbated when the sufferer is holding something for a long period of time that involves their wrist being bent.
Who is at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Claims tend to come from a wide variety of industries, but some of the most common include:
- Production line work
- Secretaries and typists
- Construction work
However, any job or situation that involves a repetition, especially involving the wrist, can cause the syndrome to develop or worsen. There has even been some suggestion that women who keep their hairband on their wrist can put unnecessary pressure on the median nerve. If you work with vibratory tools or perform heavy lifting or any kind of repetitive hand movement then you may be at a high risk of developing the condition.
What can be done to improve the condition?
When your doctor examines you, they will first perform something known as the Tinel test for nerve damage. This involves them tapping on the inside of your wrist over the median nerve. Later tests could include electrophysiological tests, ultrasounds and X-rays or MRI scans.
For most people, if they do not treat their carpal tunnel syndrome then they will find that it will worsen over time. Non-surgical treatments can involve:
- Bracing or splinting
This can keep you from unnecessarily moving your wrist while asleep or when doing activities that may aggravate your symptoms
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen can help to relieve pain and inflammation
- Nerve gliding exercises
Specific exercises that help the median nerve more freely may help relieve pain.
- Steroid injections
Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can be injected directly into the carpal tunnel to help calm symptoms.
Surgery may be recommended by your doctor if your symptoms become unmanageable and look like they may lead to constant numbness and wasting of the thumb muscles.
Despite initially seeming like it may be something that passes, carpal tunnel syndrome can become debilitating if it is left untreated. A visit to your doctor is always sensible if you are concerned about any symptoms.
Expert industrial disease claim solicitors can help you with getting you the compensation you deserve. They can help you with carpal tunnel, repetitive strain injury claims and other injury and illness claims when the condition was caused or worsened in the workplace.