Illinois is home to various manufacturing companies where assembly line work is a mainstay of production. Perhaps you work at the very same company your parents or grandparents worked at years ago. Overall, you've been quite satisfied with your job. It is steady income, puts food on your table, and you have the same shift each week, so it allows you to have structure and routine at home.
The only problem is that you're experiencing symptoms that make you worry about whether you'll be able to continue your duties. As an assembly line worker, you're at risk for an injury known as carpal tunnel syndrome. If your symptoms align with those listed as common for this condition, you may want to further investigate the matter by seeking medical attention. If a doctor diagnoses you with carpal tunnel (or some other repetitive strain condition) you'll want to immediately notify your employer. The good news is that support is available.
Signs of a possible carpal tunnel problem
There are some types of workplace injuries that occur from acute onsets, such as unexpected accidents, collisions or other sudden situations that result in physical injury. The following list, however, provides information regarding signs of a gradual onset injury that may apply to your situation:
- If one or more fingers on your hand feel tingly, similar to a limb that has "fallen asleep," you may want to discuss the issue with your physician. This is often a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- In addition to numbness, any feelings like electrical shocks, stinging or discomfort in your fingers, wrist or hand may signify a carpal tunnel problem.
- Sometimes, feelings of numbness or tingling may travel up your arm.
- Basic tasks, such as steering your car, holding a cup of coffee or trying to turn a page in a book may become extremely painful if you're suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Even if you're typically a clumsy person, if you think you've been dropping things more often than usual, you might want to mention this to your doctor in connection with a possible carpal tunnel injury.
- The main issue in carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on your median nerve. This often occurs when you perform repeated tasks and motions over an extended period of time.
- Both men and women can suffer this type of injury although it appears more prevalent in women.
You may think that suffering discomfort in your hand is no reason to file an injury report at work. You may even think you're better off popping some pain relief pills and doing your best to carry on as usual at work. However, many people in Illinois and elsewhere have suffered severe disability related to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries.
If you believe you may be suffering from this type of injury, you have every right to submit the proper paperwork for a workers' compensation claim. This can be a complicated and stressful process, to be sure. That's why most injured workers ask experienced workers' comp attorneys to help them.