One workplace-related injury that people have become more aware of in recent years is carpal tunnel syndrome. This injury occurs when a nerve that runs from the forearm to the hand becomes pressed or squeezed. Most of these injuries occur because of a wrist injury or repetitive motion, which is common in assembly-line work.
Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include burning, tingling, itching and numbness in the palm and fingers. These symptoms often intensify, resulting in decreased grip strength and an inability to grasp small objects or perform other manual tasks.
Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome begins with resting the affected area for at least two weeks and limiting the use of the hand and wrist. Ice can help reduce pain and swelling. Pain medication also may be prescribed, and physical therapy can improve the condition. Surgery is a last resort, but carpal tunnel surgery is among the most common surgical procedures in the U.S.