There are specific health conditions which keep you away from performing your regular duties most of the times. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one such condition that may impact your ability to perform your regular task and you may also be unable to do any job. However there are some jobs which you can perform even with your carpal tunnel syndrome, especially once you have treated your condition. There are also some worst jobs that may worsen your condition and may make you completely unfit for performing any task. Read below to know about the best and worst jobs for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: In Brief!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the outcome of the pressure on the nerve in the wrist.1 With this, the median nerve that supplies much of the feeling to a hand is impacted. The most frequent causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are repetitive hand and wrist motions and thus this condition is most often considered as a repetitive stress injury or RSI. Moreover, carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused by medical conditions like arthritis or lupus. The numbness, burning, tingling, pain and weakness in the hands can seriously impact one’s ability to function.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more commonly seen in women than men and also in the middle-aged and elderly people than in children or youth ones. However it could affect anyone at any time. Other risk factors of Carpal tunnel syndrome include wrist injury, pregnancy, family history of Carpal tunnel syndrome, repeated use of percussive or vibrating tools, health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, an underactive thyroid gland etc.
Symptoms like numbness, pain or aching in the hand tends to develop gradually and are often initially worse during night. At times, the ache may also develop up to the arm, shoulder and neck. Carpal tunnel syndrome make it really difficult to grip or grasp objects and perform specific tasks like fastening buttons which can really affects an individual’s ability to work.
For treating carpal tunnel syndrome one must either wear a wrist splint, go for physical therapy like exercises or stretching, occupational therapy, take corticosteroids or corticosteroid injections in the affected portion, and even at times surgery.
Jobs for Carpal Tunnel Sufferers: Best and Worst Jobs for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Best Jobs for Carpal Tunnel Sufferers:
Before we mention anything about the best jobs for carpal tunnel sufferers; we must also mention that in case a surgery is required for your condition, kindly go for it and correct the syndrome. It may take 14-21 days to get corrected after the surgery and then you can look for your works. However, if you have mild symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and are taking medications or any other prescribed treatments for the condition and are willing to work or perform your job so as to keep earning then below are some of the suitable jobs for you.
One of the best jobs for carpal tunnel sufferers is Quality control. Quality control has several sectors and different process that require evaluation and this involves your brains over hands and thus this might be a wonderful job for you if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
You can also check about the QA technologist. Quality control might not pay you as much as Laboratory technician. You can look for this job too, however you need to take care of your hands, else you may become permanently incapacitated.
Marketing evaluation is one more possibility, as it involves reaching out and while talking to people you need to evaluate their response. Big corporation actually pay well for this work.
A Therapist Or A Social Worker:
You can go for a social worker job, in case you have carpal tunnel syndrome. This does not make use of much of your wrist. Make sure you keep a check on your condition while working.
In case you like law and have studied it then you may try your luck with a solicitor profession. Here in this profession you usually do not make use of much of your hands, and mainly go for conference meetings that may be suitable for your condition.
Worst Jobs for Carpal Tunnel Sufferers:
Today, researchers are still learning about the causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Though not all studies have linked particular professions to carpal tunnel syndrome, others have found a correlation between the condition and specific jobs. It is noted that the average person spends 70% of their time working in their chosen profession; and if that profession involves certain repetitive, strenuous hand motions like using vibrating machinery; that means a lot of time is been spent in putting stress on the hands and the wrist. Let us now talk about some of the worst jobs for Carpal tunnel sufferers.
Making use of Rachet, Screwdriver, power tools etc in a mechanic’s job can actually worsen the condition in Carpal tunnel syndrome. So this is not at all a fit job for you if you are a carpal tunnel sufferer.
Hand weeding, power tools when used while gardening can impact your wrists and hand pain in Carpal tunnel.
Garment Worker, Sewer, Tailor:
Grasping and tugging fabric, pulling etc can cause more of hand and wrist pain if you are a carpal tunnel sufferer. So, this is listed under worst jobs for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Clerk and Secretary:
One more profession that is absolutely not for carpal tunnel sufferers is a job of clerk or secretary. This is because these jobs involve a lot of keyboarding, using mouse, filing etc that are not suitable for the condition.
Painter job is also unfit for a person with carpal tunnel syndrome. Using spray guns while painting, can increase the pain in wrists and hands.
Dental hygienists usually have to make use of small tools. Such professions are absolutely not suitable for carpal tunnel sufferers.
Transcriptionist and Computer Programmers:
Such jobs are also not fit for people with carpal tunnel syndrome as they involve keyboarding, using of mouse etc.
Handling brushes and combs for a longer period of time in hair dresser profession can worsen the condition in carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel sufferers can also not go for the musician profession as there may be requirement of paying string instruments, use of bow etc. which can cause more pain in hands and wrist.
One more, worst job for carpal tunnel sufferer is Cashier where the individual has to use laser scanner that can worsen the symptoms in carpal tunnel syndrome.
Sonographers have to use electronic devices which can worsen the condition in carpal tunnel syndrome.
Do not choose to be a radiologist if you are a carpal tunnel sufferer. This is because this job involves a lot of use of keyboard, use of mouse etc.
One more job that can worsen the symptoms in carpal tunnel syndrome is a job of massage therapist. Forceful hand motions while performing the massage can actually cause a great amount of pain in wrists and hands.
Cutting, making use of knife can also cause severe pain in hands; especially if you are a carpal tunnel sufferer. So, working as a butcher, in poultry, meatpacker etc are absolutely the worst jobs for you.
Agricultural Worker and Factory Worker:
If you are working as a factory worker or an agriculture worker and wearing poorly fitting gloves while working or working without breaks, it may cause you severe pain in hands if you are having carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpenter has to use hand tools, power tools while performing his or her task and this may cause serious damage if you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Turning keys, using small tools can cause damage if you are a locksmith and have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Electronic Industry Workers:
Assembling small parts as an electronic industry worker can cause pain in wrists and hands if you are a carpal tunnel sufferer.
What You Can Do at Job if You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & Tips to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome While At Work:
Perform Specific Exercises:
Specific types of exercises can actually be beneficial in preventing carpal tunnel syndrome and also in reducing symptoms if you have the condition. Stretching and strengthening exercises are some exercises which would help you lower the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. In particular, shake out and stretch your wrist. You can do this, even by taking short breaks from work.
Create an Ergonomic Workspace:
You need to create an ergonomic workplace. In case you spend a lot of times using a computer, then position it directly in front of you. You also need to adjust your chair so that your forearms are level with the keyboard.
Bring An Ergonomic Mousepad, Keyboard or Keyboard Pad:
Bring an ergonomic mousepad, keyboard or keyboard pad. Pads actually prop your hands so as to keep your fingers, palms and wrists in proper position. Ergonomic keyboards allow you to maintain a more natural position of the wrist while typing. You may also get a vertical mouse that would allow you to point your thumb upward while you are working.
Take Breaks While At Work:
Repetitive tasks can take a toll on your wrists. This is the reason you need to take a break, especially if your wrists feel like requiring a break. You can rotate tasks throughout the day so that you are not in the same position constantly. In case you are not able to rotate tasks then try to at least rotate which hand you use for the repetitive motions at your work.
Wear Fingerless Gloves:
In case you are working in a cold environment then wear fingerless gloves. This would prevent stiffness in the fingers.
Wear Splints To Keep Wrists Straight:
You must wear splints for keeping your wrists straight. This would work as an extra precaution for keeping your wrists in good working condition.
Use Correct Posture And Wrist Position:
Make sure that you are using correct posture and wrist position. Be very sure that when performing repetitive tasks, you are keeping your wrists as straight as it is possible. In case it is possible then choose to use workstations, tools and tool handles that are designed to keep your wrists in a natural position while working.
Getting Disability Benefits in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Carpal tunnel syndrome may keep you away from working. There may be possibility that you may not even brush your hair, sign your name, or even open a bottle of jar because of carpal tunnel syndrome. Moreover, weakness, tingling of hand, numbness etc may keep you from performing specific tasks like filing documents, or even sorting records. The pain in carpal tunnel syndrome may be so severe that you may require a break from your work. In such extreme cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, you would have to go for a surgery.
In such a scenario, you can go for filing for benefits, where you are disabled to work and thus would require some help. For this you would require a Social Security Disability lawyer who would help you through the process of filing and fighting on your behalf for getting you the disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome.
You would be required to maintain and submit your medical records, your physician notes, evidences of restrictions and your limitations, test results, treatment that you must have undergone and the treatment results too. Apart from all these you might also have to submit the documentation that shows how your carpal tunnel syndrome has actually impacted your life negatively and affected your ability to perform tasks or ability to work.
Employed earners who develop carpal tunnel syndrome while in an occupation involving exposures such as repetitive movements or vibratory tools etc; may be eligible for compensation. However, it is not only about the compensation you receive. It is about your life and your work ability. If you are a carpal tunnel sufferer then the first thing you must do is go for the best possible treatment, then also be with a positive attitude and begin the best jobs that are suitable for your condition, and avoid the worst jobs that may worsen your condition. Also make sure that you are following some necessary tips so as to reduce or prevent the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
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