A Closer Look at Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The following blog post is the first in a series designed to provide some basic background information on carpal tunnel syndrome, a serious repetitive stress injury that afflicts millions of workers throughout the United States each year.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is actually a small tube located on the inner arm that is comprised of various ligaments, bones and tendons. Its primary function is to protect the major nerve (the median nerve) that travels through it.

The median nerve enables a person to move/feel the following: thumb, index finger, middle finger and the vertical half of their ring finger facing the middle finger.

Simply put, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve.

What are some of the warning signs or symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

According to the Mayo Clinic, it is not uncommon for carpal tunnel syndrome to start with an indistinct soreness in your wrist that may radiate to your hand and/or forearm.

Other symptoms include the following:

• Pain that spreads outward from your wrist up to your shoulder or pain that spreads downward from your wrist through your fingers
• Weakness in your hands, manifested by an inability to hold onto objects
• Numbness throughout your thumb, index finger, middle finger and the vertical half of their ring finger facing the middle finger. (Many people experience this symptom while holding an object or shortly after waking up. It may become permanent over time.)

If you have questions or concerns about carpal tunnel syndrome, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced medical professional.

Stay tuned for the next post …

Related Resources:

• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Mayo Clinic)

A Closer Look at Texas Construction Site Injuries

It is a common scene at construction sites across the country, workers carrying, lifting, pushing, holding or pulling large pieces of equipment or heavy loads. While many of these workers view this kind of activity as a critical component of their job, they may be unknowingly subjecting themselves to serious neck, back and spine injuries.

Performing this type of work on a regular basis for prolonged periods of time can result in very serious and even debilitating injuries.

Today’s post will take a closer look at some of the more common construction site injuries.

Shoulder and Neck Injuries

Construction workers who frequently place great stress on their shoulders often suffer an injury known as bursitis. Bursitis is caused by an inflammation of the bursa, tiny fluid sacs located between the tendons and bones in the shoulder. An inflamed or swollen bursa makes shoulder movement painful or even impossible.

Another common injury suffered by construction workers who frequently place great stress on their shoulders is tendinitis. This rather painful condition is caused by inflamed shoulder tendons and can make it difficult to move the shoulder.

Back Injuries

Located between the vertebrae of the spine are small gelatinous discs that enable you to move. When you bend, lift or stretch (upward or downward), these discs are compressed by the back muscles and ligaments.

If a construction worker bends over for a prolonged period of time (months or even years), the discs can become weak and eventually rupture. This results in herniated discs, a very painful condition.

In addition to herniated discs, construction workers also frequently suffer serious muscle pulls or strains in their backs. These pulls or strains can be caused by sudden motions or repetitive motions.

If you have suffered any type of workplace injury, you should strongly consider seeking the necessary medical treatment.

Workers at construction sites across the country report to work every day, ready to begin their vigorous day of lifting, carrying, holding, pulling or pushing heavy loads or large pieces of equipment. Unfortunately, many of these workers put their hard work ahead of their own health, and unknowingly subject themselves to the risk of debilitating neck, back and spine injuries.

Today’s post will continue this analysis by briefly exploring a few measures/solutions that both employers and employees can take to greatly reduce the number of serious construction site injuries. If implemented correctly, these measures can significantly lessen the amount of stress placed upon the neck, back and spine, as well as lessen the frequency and duration of this stress.

Possible Solutions

One way to lessen the number of neck, back and spine injuries on a work site is to consider using more “user-friendly” building materials/components. This means materials that can be handled without extensive exertion, repetitive motion or    uncomfortable body posture.

For example, it may be beneficial to switch to half-weight bags of concrete or lighter construction blocks. (Such a move is naturally subject to both cost and approval by various parties, including engineers, architects, contractors and clients.)

Another way to lessen the number of neck, back and spine injuries is to consider using construction tools/devices that greatly reduce the need for workers to unnecessarily carry, lift, push, hold or pull heavy materials.

Some of these tools include:

• Specialized handles and grips
• Rolling carts and dollies
• Stands and jacks
• Lifts (mechanical, vacuum and hydraulic)

(As before, such a move is subject to both cost and approval by various parties.)

Related Resources:

• Simple Solutions for Lifting, Holding and Handling Materials (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)

Filing a Worker’s Comp Claim in Texas

Have you been the victim of a workplace injury? Our Texas Work Injury Law Offices can help you take the steps necessary to get the benefits you are entitled to. The first step, of course, is to file a workers’ compensation claim.

If you have reported your injury to your employer, but your employer hasn’t filed a workers’ compensation claim, we can file the claim for you. It is important to understand that employers are required to file a claim with their insurance carrier within 24 hours of an injury report. If they do not, they have failed to comply with the law. This is often a sign that they will try to avoid paying benefits. With so much at stake, you need an experienced lawyer on your side.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim is Not Enough

Yes, filing a workers’ compensation claim is an important first step, but it is not enough. We also file an application for adjudication of the claim. This is valuable for several reasons. It preserves the statute of limitations. More importantly, it gets a case number assigned. Having a case number is necessary to go to court for an expedited hearing or for any other type of courtroom procedure that may be necessary to get you the benefits you need.

What If the Claim is Denied?

Filing a workers’ compensation claim does not guarantee benefits. All too often, perfectly valid claims are denied by the workers’ comp insurance company. That is no reason to give up. With nearly 20 years of experience on our side, we know the steps to take to overcome denied claims. We can help get you the benefits you deserve.

Learn About the Benefits You Are Entitled To

Victims of work injuries in California are entitled to a variety of benefits. At the Texas Law Offices, we are committed to helping you get all of the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to, regardless of the injury you have suffered.

Medical Benefits

Injured workers are entitled to all necessary medical care at the employer’s expense. In addition to coverage of the medical care itself, workers are entitled to reimbursement for mileage to and from all appointments. This is currently paid at 58.5 cents per mile.

Temporary Disability Benefits

These workers’ compensation benefits are designed to compensate the injured employee for wages lost because of a work injury. This compensation covers two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. These benefits are not taxable.

Permanent Disability Benefits

If a work injury results in a permanent disability, the injured employee can recover these workers’ compensation benefits. Essentially, this is a cash settlement for the injury.

Supplemental Job Displacement Vouchers

When a worker suffers an injury that prevents him or her from returning to the field he or she previously worked in, this benefit is available. It provides money to cover the costs of retraining for a new occupation.

Contact us now for a free consultation with our attorney. Do not wait to pursue the compensation you are entitled to. We handle work injury cases in Texas, on a contingency basis. No recovery, no fee.