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Can a car accident cause carpal tunnel?

If you find yourself in a car accident, you may not know what to do at first. Most of the steps that immediately follow a crash depend on your physical condition and the severity of the incident.

While you walked away from that crash with some bumps and bruises at first, you may start to notice an achiness settling in a few days later. It starts in your elbows and shoots down into your wrists and hands. A trip to the hospital reveals you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Is it possible the accident caused this common repetitive injury?

Symptoms of carpal tunnel

Typically, carpal tunnel develops over time. Some of the telltale signs you may experience include:

  • Numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers
  • Sharp pains in the wrist and hands
  • Inability to grasp or grip
  • Overall weakness in the hands and wrists

These symptoms usually increase, and the pain and discomfort also get worse as the repetitive motion continues. For example, typing for long periods in an improper position can cause carpal tunnel syndrome to manifest.

Traumatic carpal tunnel

Because you do not engage in repetitive use of your hands and wrists, and because you have not experienced this type of pain before, the doctor may diagnose you with traumatic carpal tunnel syndrome. When your crash occurred, your hands were firmly planted on the steering wheel. The force of the impact caused a shockwave to run down your arms, including the nerves. The result was a jamming of the wrist and, ultimately, the pain and symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

The treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is the same, whether it happens as the result of an accident or repetitive movements over time. Regardless, a doctor can help figure out the best plan to rid you of the pain and discomfort associated with it, and an attorney may help you recover the damages to pay for your medical care.

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