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Office space injuries: The dangers of carpal tunnel syndrome

You wouldn't consider the typical California office to be dangerous to the people who work there. And, in most cases, offices are safe for their workers. However, the general safety of your office environment doesn't mean you won't get hurt.

Many workers develop debilitating injuries precisely because their jobs involve so little risk. These injuries are the result of the sedative nature of an office job, where a worker can sit for hours at a desk performing repetitive motions that involve a limited range movement. One of the most common of these repetitive strain injuries is called carpal tunnel syndrome.

What's carpal tunnel syndrome?

The "carpal tunnel" is a passageway in the area of your wrist. Through this passageway nerves communicate information that connects your fingers and hands to your wrist, to your forearm, to your upper and all the way up to your brain. The carpal tunnel, however, can become swollen and inflamed over time. This can happen as a result any kind of repetitive movement.

In the case of an office worker, the repetitive action caused by working at a computer -- with constant typing and mouse operation -- may result in carpal tunnel syndrome in certain circumstances.

Carpal tunnel can render you unable to perform your job duties

Carpal tunnel syndrome can become so severe and painful that workers experience intense numbness and burning in their fingers, wrists and forearms. In fact, the condition can reach the point where it renders a worker unable to operate a computer and keyboard, and therefore, unable to perform his or her job duties.

Workers' compensation and carpal tunnel syndrome

A carpal tunnel diagnosis -- when it's related to a workers' job -- can qualify the injured person to receive workers' compensation benefits to pay for medical care. In these cases, workers may also be able to get money to pay for lost income as a result of time spent unable to work. If you are suffering from job-related carpal tunnel, be sure to know your workers' compensation rights so you can seek money to pay for your injuries.

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