A growing number of our nation’s neurologists are being diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. Players from the NFL are concerned.
Carpal Tunnel is a debilitating condition caused by long periods of typing or repetitive motions. Doctors are susceptible due to constantly writing up reports for medical records and billing insurance companies. Neurologists have seen a major increase due to all the concussion reports they have been typing up for NFL players. This has many players seeking action.
“I can’t stand by and watch my doctor suffer like this. The institution he works for needs to get him better equipment and change the work rules so that his condition is improved,” said Jahvid Best, a running back with the Detroit Lions. “There are easy solutions. But we need to increase education about the situation.”
Indeed, adjustable chairs and ergonomic pads for keyboards would help prevent the onset of Carpal Tunnel. These items can be found at any major office supply store. But some doctors point out that kickbacks and side deals win out over sensible equipment decisions.
“I can’t just go to Staples and buy one of their comfortable chairs,” said a neurologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who opted not to be identified for fear of retribution. “My department head and the facilities manager here have a deal with some guy they played lacrosse with back in the day. He supplies everything, from the chairs to the computers to the damn pens!”
ESPN analyst, and former NFL quarterback, Steve Young had this to say, “You know, neorgists are always worried about us and our heads. I mean I’ve had a concussion or twelve but I can still type despite having a concussion or twelves. Carpal Tunnel, huh? I got lost in a tunnel yesternight.”
But some players think it is a culture problem within the medical community. Fear of losing status or high paying jobs causes some neurologists to deny that they are injured. These players believe that there needs to be top-down assurances from hospital administration to doctors that it is okay to admit injury.
“The administrators need to put wrist-joint health of doctors on the top of their priority list,” said Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who was sacked over 50 times in 2011. He also pointed out that rules about recovery time need to be instituted, “When a neurologist complains of tingling in his finger tips he needs to be taken out. A seven day resting period followed by an evaluation by an agreed upon independent Orthopedic practitioner.”
Some doctors disagree despite the fact that they are putting themselves in harms way. According to Dr. Drew Jones, who graduated from UCLA, other injuries will just take the place of Carpal Tunnel.
“I ain’t gonna tell on myself. Why would I? So I lay at home for a week just get bed sores instead? No, not me. And if any sissy doctors do tell on themselves I’ll just go take their job if it’s higher paying than mine,” said Jones.
Sadly that is the prevailing thought process. These guys come from families where the only solution to their social situation is to become neurologists.
The unidentified man from Hopkins elaborated. “Listen, on the mean streets where I come from you got few choices. The poorest people on the block make like 85K. You either become a doctor, a lawyer, a U.S. Senator, or you’re just a laughing stock,” he explained. “God forbid you fall short and become a chiropractor or some chump mid-size city Mayor. You think I would give this up because there is some tingling in my fingers? Hell no!”
FOX Sports analyst, and former Cowboys quarterback, Troy Aikman understands but gives this warning.
“I can totally relate to wanting to hang in there. But what about the future? One day you’re going to wake up and not be able to use the envelope opener when your paycheck arrives in the mail,” the Hall of Famer explained. “Or worse, you’ll eat a sandwich that the maid packed for your lunch and you’ll chomp down on that numb pinky finger four or five times, that’s when the reality of it will set in.”