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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C.
Helping Injured Workers In Arizona Since 1973

Gradual injuries can cause long-term pain and income loss

While industries in Arizona such as construction, transport and manufacturing pose significant hazards, workers in the tech industry and clerical positions are also at risk. However, except for slip-and-fall and other unanticipated events, they are more susceptible to gradual injuries. One of the most prevalent of these is carpal tunnel syndrome, which results from repetitive use of the wrists over an extended period.

The syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve that runs in the carpal tunnel from the arm, through the wrist, and into the hand. Victims typically experience numb, swollen or itchy fingers with a gradual decrease in strength of grip. The condition can develop into chronic pain in the employee's hands, wrists or arms. Although many occupations involve repetitive motions, employees in the tech industry are especially vulnerable.

Treatment depends on the severity of the condition, and some cases require no more than therapy along with injections and bracing. However, more severe cases that persist will need surgery. The surgical procedures are quite costly, even though it usually involves no more than about 45 minutes in the operating room. However, it can take about six weeks after the surgery for the pain and discomfort to subside, and up to six months before regular hand and wrist functions are regained.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is recognized as an occupational injury and, as such, these gradual injuries are covered by Arizona workers' compensation benefits. Proving such an injury to be work-related can be challenging and might be easier achieved with the help of an attorney. A lawyer who is experienced in assisting injured workers in obtaining the benefits they deserve can navigate the claims process for them.

Source: techinsurance.com, "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Workers' Comp Minefield for Technology Businesses," accessed on Feb. 9, 2018

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