When workers in Pennsylvania first notice wrist pain, it may be tempting to write it off. But if wrist pain becomes more frequent or harder to cope with, it can be a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. As a degenerative injury, all potential signs workers should take seriously.
Mayo Clinic takes a look at the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). They can include:
- Weakness in the affected wrist or hand
- An inability to exert full strength in your grip
- A tingling sensation in the fingers
- Numbness in the affected area
Symptoms can affect the hand and wrist only. They can also affect all the way up to the elbow. It is rare for CTS to affect the pinky. The thumb and index finger are the ones most likely to suffer from symptoms.
In the initial onset, it can be hard to differentiate from other stress injuries. It also closely resembles a pinched nerve, which is a temporary condition. Many people try to “shake out” any numbness or tingling they may experience. Very few go to see a doctor in early stages, as they do not know what they are dealing with.
As CTS is a degenerative injury, it will only worsen without treatment. Numbness can progress until the sensation is constant. Jolts of pain can become strong enough to wake the victim from their sleep. Permanent damage may occur if they do not seek treatment. This can result in the victim requiring surgery.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for workers to get enough time off to heal. This is part of the reason why CTS has such a surprising impact on the work force. Individuals get stuck in a loop of overworking their injury and needing more time off because of it. This is also why many seek compensation.