No one is safe from workplace injuries, regardless of their industry or job title. Even people with desk jobs are at risk of orthopedic injuries. Though those working in construction, manufacturing, and other labor-intensive sectors have more chances of getting injured on the job, everyone is in danger of sustaining a workplace injury. So, always remember that you may need an orthopedic doctor on speed dial, just in case.
What Are the Risks of Orthopedic Injuries?
Many different factors influence the probability of orthopedic disease. Because any employee can suffer an orthopedic illness on the job, some people are more susceptible to them than others. Overuse and impact injuries are riskier for physically demanding or hazardous occupations.
With age comes a greater likelihood of sustaining an injury. It is usually because bones and muscles deteriorate as we get older. Once you injure a particular area, it becomes more vulnerable to future injuries since the initial damage probably weakened it.
- Back Injuries
Back injuries are, unfortunately, quite common in all types of workplaces. In 2016, they accounted for 38.5% of musculoskeletal work-related problems.
Pain management techniques like stretching and massage can help make ergonomic changes to your workstation.
- Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel is common among those whose occupation requires them to repeatedly make the same hand motions throughout the day, such as typing or working on an assembly line. The condition happens when these repeated motions pinch the median nerve in your wrist, resulting in tingling, pain, weakness, and numb fingers – symptoms that only worsen over time if left untreated.
An orthopedic doctor can treat minor symptoms of carpal tunnel by changing your activities or wearing a wrist splint. If severe, you may need surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve. Repeated motion is often the cause of carpal tunnel. Still, you may also be more likely to develop it if you have certain health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid imbalance, or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Rotator Cuff Tear
Approximately 2 million people visit the doctor yearly due to rotator cuff tears. These tears can cause immense pain and limit your shoulder’s mobility. Your rotator cuff is prone to injuries like tearing if you often use your shoulders throughout the day. Tearing can occur either suddenly from an acute injury or gradually over time from the repeated strain of those muscles.
The rotator cuff is a small, round layer of tissue that sits between the shoulder blades. In severe cases, an injured rotator cuff can make it difficult to do regular activities. Cortisone injections and electrical stimulation treatments are other possibilities.
- Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is not generally caused by the activity, although it may be due to tennis. It’s caused by putting a strain on your arm and hand muscles rather than a traumatic incident. As a result, it’s most likely to happen in your dominant hand since it’s the one you use the most.
Tennis elbow is an ailment of the tendons in your elbow that causes inflammation, irritation, and pain. You’ll likely feel discomfort, burning, or tenderness outside your elbow.
- Shoulder Pain
Your shoulders get a lot of usage, especially if your job requires you to lift. Pain in your shoulders may develop over time due to frequent use. A traumatic shoulder injury might also produce another shoulder discomfort. Bursitis and tendinitis are two possible causes of shoulder pain.
Arthritis, bone spurs, and shoulder impingement are all possible causes of shoulder discomfort. The wear of the muscles is reduced by resting and stretching them. Strengthening your shoulders with general exercise might also help you avoid injuries.
You can avoid most orthopedic injuries by taking precautions and being alert. For example, always wear the safety gear needed for your job, and tell your orthopedic doctor or your employer if you think you need additional safety equipment.
Beware of dangers in your office that could make you trip, such as cords or boxes. If there are hazards you can’t fix yourself, tell your boss about them. To avoid neck and back problems, have an ergonomic workstation where your monitor is at eye level, and your keyboard and mouse are on the same plane. Sit in a chair that has lumbar support and is adjustable.
Prevention is key, especially in high-risk working environments. Take a recess every hour or two to give your body a rest from the repetitive motions it’s going through. And don’t forget to stretch! Stretching helps prevent overuse injuries by keeping our muscles loose and limber.
Orthopedic injuries can affect all the body’s joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They may happen due to overuse, sudden injuries, or overexertion. Being aware of those injuries beforehand helps you avoid them. You’re not alone if you’ve suffered an orthopedic injury at work. There are multiple ways to solve your workers’ compensation claim—one is finding an orthopedic doctor close to you who can evaluate your injury and recommend the next steps.
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