29 Jul 2018 / General health

Ergonomics and Pain

Often people assume you only visit a physiotherapist, or even a chiropractor as a result of a one-off physical injury. It’s easy to assume it might be a trip or fall, or perhaps even a sporting injury. However, for many people, they need to seek professional help for injuries that have been caused as a result of many little stressors, which have built up over the course of time.

Obviously a large part of our job is to ensure people are able to suitably recover from their injuries, and are able to return to work or the activities they love. However, an additional part of our role is to make sure that further injuries are avoided. Or at the very least, the risk of additional pain being caused is reduced.

Ergonomics

When it comes to the workplace and how it impacts on our day to day health, we start to enter the world of ergonomics. Essentially this is the science of matching the job to the worker, or a product to the user. This is a fancy way of saying applying common sense to every day working situations.

A good example would be when a worker, regardless of the task they’re doing, starts to experience pain as a result of leaning on a hard surface. Over time, that pain is going to get worse, and could cause them to take time off, or become slow and delayed in their movements (which could have a negative impact on their productivity). Rather than ignore this issue, it’s important to look at the cause, and find ways that you can reduce the impact.

A good way to do that in this particular instance would be to provide a padded wrist support. The same work and movements are being undertaken, but now there is a degree of support which will reduce the end pain and discomfort. There are so many things that need to be taken in to account when looking at the potential impact a work environment and situation might be having on a worker. For example, does a task require the use of force, and if so, how much? Is there vibration, and is it constant or occasional? How long does the task take to perform, how often is it repeated and is there any opportunity to rest before starting again?

The answers to these sorts of questions allow the identification of risk factors which can lead to the identification of strategies to help mitigate them. Ultimately it benefits everyone: employers who want a happy, healthy and of course productive workforce; and employees who don’t want to be left in pain after doing a good day’s work.

These are all things we are more than happy to advise on, to ensure injuries do not return, and just as importantly, are avoided in the first place.

If you want to find out more, please call us on 1254 677341/01706 211419.

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