Not all work injuries result from significant falls, toxic exposure and other dramatic accidents. In fact, most work-related injuries result simply from performing the same tasks repeatedly with improper form or without the assistance of certain injury prevention aids. Workers in offices, factories, stores and various other locations suffer repetitive stress injury at startling rates. One of the most common repetitive stress injuries suffered by Americans everywhere is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

CTS is most commonly associated with office workers who spend a significant amount of their time typing. However, CTS can develop in factory workers who engage in repetitive motions with their hands and in retail workers who regularly stock shelves and scan merchandise. It is also common among caregivers, massage therapists and other professionals who regularly repeat motions that either strain the hands or wrists.

In general, CTS patients suffer one or more of the following symptoms: pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. What many Americans do not realize is that left undiagnosed and/or untreated, CTS can actually cause disability in a patient’s hand. As a result, it is critical to seek diagnosis if you develop any of these symptoms and work in a job that may be causing their persistence.

There are exercises that workers can do to both prevent the development of CTS and to treat it once it develops. A number of helpful Internet resources exist on the subject and concerned persons are advised to engage in CTS prevention or treatment research. In the event that you develop CTS symptoms, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits related to your care. In addition, an attorney may be able to help you hold your employer responsible if he or she fails to provide you with proper assistance in addressing your CTS triggers at work.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Who’s at Risk and How to Prevent Its Disabling Effects,” Michael Zazzali, May 30, 2013