Most occupations require some sort of physical activity. Factory workers lift and load heavy boxes all day, service industry workers stand on their feet and carry heavy trays, and even office employees perform repetitive tasks, such as opening mail or answering phones. Overuse is a major concern and a common cause of workers’ compensation claims. The following offers important information about these injuries and the steps you can take to help prevent them.
Common Types of Overuse Injuries
Overuse injuries can result from any type of repetitive motion, which puts strain on a certain body part. They can also result from one time events, in which you lift, bend, reach, or otherwise stretch to the point that the muscles, tendons, or ligaments suffer damage. BMJ Best Practice advises that the following are common types of overuse injuries found among different workers:
Lower back pain: The most common cause of disability among workers aged 50 and over, this can occur as the result of soft tissue injuries and degenerative disc disease.
Knee injuries: These often occur due to twisting, straining, and excessive stress on the muscles, joints, and tendons.
Rotator cuff injury: A common type of shoulder injury, it often occurs among workers who engage in many overheard activities, such as painting and stocking shelves.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: The BMJ estimates that roughly one out of every 25 workers suffers this condition. It results from repetitive hand and wrist motions, such as working at a keyboard or using vibrating tools, such as a jackhammer.
Tendonitis: Another common overuse injury, it can occur anytime there is excessive stress, stretching, or tears in the tendons, which connect bones to muscles. It can take a long time to heal and is easily subject to re-injury, causing it to become a chronic condition.
Tension headaches: While not often thought of as an overuse injury among sufferers, the fact is that prolonged mental tension and psychological stress can cause frequent and ongoing headaches. These can end up preventing you from working or performing tasks on your job.
Preventing Overuse Injuries
To prevent potentially permanent damage, PhysioWorks advises being alert to the signs of overuse injuries. This includes pain, swelling, a burning or tingling sensation, or numbness in a particular body part or section. To help protect yourself against these injuries, follow these tips:
Utilize tools and machines, such as lifts or conveyor belts, which can make your job easier;
Learn proper lifting techniques;
When you are new to a particular type of activity, build endurance slowly;
Avoid standing in one location or performing a certain task for extended amounts of time;
Be alert to discomfort and immediately stop what you are doing, rather than attempting to ‘push through’ the pain.
Contact Us Today for Help
Overuse injuries can lead to lasting disabilities that prevent you from working while requiring ongoing medical attention. If you are injured on the job, contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC and request a consultation with our Aiken, SC workers’ compensation attorney right away.