Why office workers may need to worry about CRPS

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Workplace Injuries

There are a host of medical conditions associated with different types of jobs. People tend to think of office work as relatively safe. While there are numerous job hazards in an office setting, the only one that people regularly acknowledge is carpal tunnel syndrome.

An individual diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome may experience reduced speed when typing and may notice pain when using their hands at work, especially after a long shift. Carpal tunnel syndrome often responds well to treatment. Physical therapy, possibly combined with surgery or a change in job functions, can help someone manage their symptoms.

Unfortunately, in some cases, carpal tunnel syndrome does not respond to treatment. In the worst-case scenario, carpal tunnel syndrome might even progress into a different condition.

Office workers could develop a debilitating issue

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), has a strong association with traumatic injuries. Broken bones and other injuries from car crashes may eventually lead to CRPS.

CRPS is a progressive condition with no known cure. Someone who develops this nerve condition may experience worsening pain after an injury heals. The affected body part may have numbness or tingling. They may experience deep burning pain even though the injury technically healed.

A change in the texture of someone’s skin, nails or hair could occur. The temperature of the affected body part may be different than the temperature of the same body part on the other side of the individual’s body. They may notice a reduction in their strength and range of motion. The pain that they experience could also limit their functional abilities while at work.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the medical issues known to be a precursor of CRPS. Office workers who expect to manage their symptoms with physical therapy or work accommodations may find that their symptoms continue progressing and worsening. A diagnosis of CRPS could potentially end someone’s career.

Workers’ compensation benefits can help pay for treatment to manage someone’s symptoms and replace their lost wages. Whether someone has to cease working altogether or must move to a lower-paid job, workers’ compensation can theoretically help cover the difference in someone’s earning potential.

Workers’ compensation claims involving unusual or complex medical conditions can be difficult to navigate. Those who understand that carpal tunnel syndrome could potentially worsen despite their best attempts to manage their symptoms may recognize when they need help in a timely fashion.