Work for People Who Can’t Work Due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Medical lab technician

Since there are so many people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, one might wonder what options they have. But first things first, what exactly is CTS? This syndrome is caused by a cramped or pinched nerve that goes from the neck (brachial plexus) all the way to the hand and wrist. This nerve is the median nerve, and it goes through a carpal passage located in the wrist or more precisely, the inner palm.

Naturally, if this nerve gets compressed, you will feel unpleasantness that will gradually grow into pain going through the wrist. The main role of this nerve is to provide sensation in four fingers of the hand. Furthermore, this is the only nerve passing through the tunnel. Interestingly, the same nerve appears in both humans and animals. 

Finally, if the nerve in the wrist gets constantly pressured, damaged, or compressed, it will cause reduced functionality of the wrist. Not only will the person have decreased movement of the wrist, but they will also feel constant pain and loss of sensation in all fingers but the pinky. 

Since the first full description of this syndrome at the end of World War II, there have been many reports of this condition. One of the worst side effects is deterioration of the muscle at the base of the thumb. If CTS remains untreated the muscle will atrophy. 

As you can imagine, the ability to work may be affected. Besides, many people wonder what the options are if someone suffers from CTS since it is not something that can be fixed in a few days. The treatment might include physical therapy, wrist immobilization, and even surgeries. 

There are multiple job positions that are good for people with CTS, and that won’t decline the recovery.

  • Laboratory technician. Working as a technician won’t require you to use your hands or to carry anything heavy. By avoiding holding your wrist in the same position, you will increase the time needed for a full recovery.
  • Quality control. One of the best possible jobs for someone who suffers from CTS is quality control. Because of the job’s nature, you won’t have to work physically and put additional pressure and strain on your wrists. Furthermore, if you are going to physiotherapy, this will be a perfect job where you could recover without worrying about potential damage to the nerve. 
  • Marketing evaluation. Marketing evaluation and market research are other options that won’t force you to use your hands. The main tool you will use for these jobs is your mind. Since you will spend a lot of time talking to people, you can wear a wrist splint even during the day.
  • A therapist or a social worker. If you ever wish to take this path, it will undoubtedly be good for your wrist. Both social workers and therapists have little use of their hands (for work), and you will mostly spend time talking to your clients.
  • Solicitor. Finally, if you are interested in law, being a solicitor might be a good option. 

When it comes to working with CTS, the most important thing is to avoid putting additional pressure on your wrist. If you work as a mechanic, gardener, hairdresser, programmer, or you do anything that will require typing on the keyboard or physical effort, it might worsen your condition.

Finally, there are several things that you could do to improve your workplace. By creating an ergonomic environment out of your office or your workplace can ease the symptoms. For example, it might help if you get the proper rest for your wrist while using the mouse or a better chair. 

Secondly, you could always do exercises for your wrists and hands and stretch them while working. Besides, having occasional breaks will also help you with the condition. Of course, you could always try wearing a splint even when you work. 

If nothing else helps, you can always apply for the social security disability. Benefits that you might get are not really impressive but are at least something. Furthermore, social security won’t always approve cases for people with CTS, but several patients have successfully fought for it.