Carpal Tunnel Injury at Work in Portland
Carpal Tunnel Injury at Work
During the course of the workday, many of us find ourselves performing the same types of tasks over and over again as a part of our jobs. If you work in an office, it might be answering phones, typing in data, or reaching for certain objects. Trade workers and those in manufacturing may find themselves using certain types of tools or handling machinery, while those in retail or the service industry often load and unload supplies and work at computerized terminals. In all occupations, the motions we perform repeatedly as a part of our job could end up resulting in serious workplace injuries.
At the Law Office of Jodie Anne Phillips Polich, P.C., we help workers when repetitive motion injuries due to overuse and strain occur. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure your rights are protected in these types of cases. Since 2003, attorney Polich has advocated on behalf of injured workers, providing the legal guidance necessary to obtain full compensation.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Lawyers in Portland: Common Types of Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries occur when you perform the same types of movements and motions on a daily basis, for weeks, months, or even years at a time.
These injuries impact millions of workers each year. In addition to the pain and discomfort they cause, repetitive motion injuries can end up requiring extensive medical care and treatment, while preventing you from working and resulting in long-term disabilities.
Common types of repetitive motion injuries include:
- Tendinitis, which often occurs in the hands, arms, neck, and shoulders, and is caused by inflammation of the tendons connecting bones to muscle
- Bursitis, which impacts areas of the body similar to tendinitis, and is caused by inflammation of the fluid filled sacs which act as a cushion between bones and soft tissues
- Nerve disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which often occurs in the joints when nerves get compressed between tendons and bones
- Neurovascular disorders, which can affect the arms and shoulders due to inflammation and pressure on blood vessels
- Sprains and strains, which often occur in the back or neck due to stretching or tearing of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Herniated disks, in which the disks between the vertebrae of the spine begin to protrude due to stress and deterioration
- Ruptured discs, which is when the wall of the disc actually tears open
Symptoms of repetitive motion injuries generally include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected areas, often accompanied by localized swelling and redness. Without treatment, these injuries can worsen over time, eventually resulting in permanent disabilities.
Treatment for Work Relate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Portland
Injuries to one part of the body can often end up impacting other areas, which can make these injuries difficult to diagnose. Your doctor will do a physical exam, in addition to running tests such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scans to determine the exact area and degree of the damage.
Common types of treatments, depending on your condition, may include:
- Medications – This includes pain medicine to relieve discomfort, muscle relaxants for spasms, and anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling.
- Steroid injections – When pain is the result of swelling in a specific location, steroid injections may help.
- Alternating heat and ice – Along with resting the affected area, your doctor will likely instruct you to alternate applying moist heat to relieve pain with ice packs to reduce inflammation.
- Splints or bandaging – This may be used to relieve pressure and to keep the area stable.
- Physical therapy – Your doctor may recommend exercises to do on your own or may order more formal physical therapy;
- Surgery – Depending on the type and extent of your injury, surgery may be required to repair the damage.
Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel at Work
Repetitive motion injuries can occur in any type of workplace. Common situations that can increase your risks include:
- Overusing a particular body part of group of muscles
- Working with vibrating tools and machinery
- Having to tightly grip objects
- Working in extreme cold temperatures
- Carrying, pulling, pushing, or lifting heavy loads
- Standing for long periods of time in the same position
- Hunching, stretching, or engaging in other poor posture due to poor ergonomics in the workplace
Employers are encouraged to design workplaces with safety and comfort in mind to prevent repetitive motion injuries. Having desks and other spaces ergonomically aligned, providing the proper floor surfaces, allowing for frequent breaks, and making use of machinery to aid in lifting and moving items can all help protect workers from repetitive motion injuries.
What to Expect When Filing for Portland Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
When filing a claim with the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division, you will need to document your injuries, including any of your own costs incurred. You will need to present medical records showing your diagnosis and any testing you have undergone, along with statements from medical providers regarding work and activity restrictions. It is important to let your employer know as soon as you are injured or when symptoms first begin appearing. Failing to do so could result in your claim being denied.
Depending on your injury, you could end up suffering permanent disabilities and the need for ongoing medical care. This is why it is so important to speak with our experienced workers’ compensation lawyer before accepting any settlement.
At the Law Office of Jodie Anne Phillips Polich, P.C., we can advise you on your rights and the best course of action in your case, including whether you need a lawyer to represent you in your claim. Call or contact our office online today and request a consultation to see how we can help you.