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Workplace hazards: Cubital and carpal tunnel syndromes

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Do you spend a significant part of your workday sitting in front of a computer, typing, clicking, and scrolling your way through countless tasks?

While you may not think that you bear a significant risk of injury that way, the reality is that all that repetitive motion can lead to two frequently overlooked but debilitating workplace injuries. Cubital tunnel syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome affect a lot of people who work desk jobs.

What causes cubital tunnel syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome is the name for a condition that causes the ulnar nerve to get pinched right where it goes through the cubital tunnel, which is the groove on the inner side of your elbow. It’s characterized by numbness, tingling or pain in the ring and little fingers of the affected hand, and generalized weakness when trying to grip objects.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

This condition is better known than cubital tunnel syndrome, but it involves damage to the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in your wrist. It’s characterized by numbness, pain and tingling in the thumb, index and middle finger of the affected hand. Pain can also radiate up your arm, affecting your fine motor skills, and can be worse at night.

Both disorders are common in office workers since repetitive elbow movements cause cubital tunnel and repetitive wrist movements cause carpal tunnel. Activities like typing in an awkward position, using a mouse, and filing can all contribute. Even more significant are jobs including vibration, like jackhammering, buffing, sanding, and using pneumatic tools.

It’s important to note that repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) like these are still workplace injuries, even though the damage is cumulative rather than something that happens in a sudden accident. As such, you have every right to workers’ compensation benefits. If you’ve been actively discouraged from pursuing a claim by your employer or you’re meeting resistance at every turn, seek legal guidance right away. A certified specialist workers’ compensation attorney can guide you to help get the benefits to which you are entitled.