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Carpal tunnel syndrome common in workers' compensation cases

Recent survey statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that carpal tunnel syndrome presents itself more through work-related actions and affects more women than it does men. CTS is one of the leading health conditions leading to workers' compensation costs, disability, and lost work time and productivity.

The National Health Interview Survey conducted the study and released its findings in its annual report. The condition impairs workers in every state, including Ohio, and impedes the feeling and movement to the hands after continuous pressure is placed on the nerves in the wrist by repetitive wrist actions. It can lead to numbness and muscle weakness or damage of the hands and fingers.

The survey stated that close to 70 percent of all employed adults who suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome in 2010 were told by physicians that the condition related to their work. The CDC also released data that showed that 3.1 percent of employed adults, ranging from ages 18 to 64, have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome within the past year.

Officials with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health also recently conducted research that was published in the organization's journal, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, which studied the relationships between physical workplace factors, especially repetitive hand activity, and the exertion and pressure that is symptomatic with carpal tunnel syndrome.

The authors of the study stated that while CTS drives up the costs of workers' compensation, some cases could be avoided by identifying and redesigning the tasks, workstations, or tools that cause the physical stress points in the wrists.

Source: Medical Daily, "CDC survey: Carpal tunnel syndrome mostly linked to work" Adam Daley, Dec. 23, 2011

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