More and more people who work in industries that rely on assembly line production continue to be at risk in getting diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. According to a study by the Wake Forest School of Medicine, carpal tunnel syndrome represents the top cause for workers’ compensation claims.
The repetitive and strenuous work at meat processing facilities and manufacturing plants within the auto, household appliances and electronic goods industries often lead to unbearable pain that requires surgery.
Numbness and hand pain
A study by the Wake Forest School of Medicine found that carpal tunnel syndrome can be found in nearly 8% of jobs that involve assembly lines.
This condition results from continuous compression of the median nerve as it goes through the wrist’s carpal tunnel. Workers most susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome are those involved with manual labor and rely on repetitive wrist movement for the jobs.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling, hand pain and weakness of the hand muscles. Victims often have trouble gripping things and have difficulty performing their work duties.
Relieving pressure on median nerve
In extreme cases, surgery is necessary and requires a surgeon to make an incision in the palm, just over the carpal tunnel ligament. The next step is to cut through this ligament, relieving pressure on the median nerve.
Surprisingly, some employers attempt to force recuperating workers back to the assembly line a day after surgery.
The dilemma of poultry processing workers
People who work at poultry processing plants are among the workers who often get carpal tunnel syndrome. The rapid pace of their work may lead to overuse injuries due to the constant cutting, trimming and deboning.
The Wake Forest study noted that poultry processing workers have a 2.5 times greater chance to get carpal tunnel syndrome than other manual workers.
Seek medical attention
If you have suspected symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, seek medical attention right away. Do not let your concerns go ignored by your employer, who may attempt to delay your access to medical care and proper treatment. This is your life and health. Surgery just may help you overcome this injury.