What all workers should know about work injuries and rehabilitation
As an employee it is your right to work in a safe workplace and there are many aspects to workplace health and safety. It is also up to you as an individual to make sure that you are in the best possible shape for the type of work that you have to do.
Keeping fit and strong will help anyone avoid injuries that can occur at work but there is always the unexpected and you should know what you need to do in these instances.
Injuries can mean time off work, pain that interferes with your lifestyle and can also have an effect on your relationships and health. It is essential that you get any injury seen to quickly as the quicker a strategy is put in place with how to deal with the injury the better you will heal and be able to get on with your life.
It is essential that you recognise your limits and let your employer know of anything that you may be concerned about in your job. This may be in regards to how long you need to stand or sit during the day, your seating or workplace set up, hard floors that can aggravate some foot and lower back conditions, any spinal weaknesses that you know of and so on.
Being completely open about your limitations is great because then it gives you a chance to improve and reduce those limitations. A physiotherapist can help to give you a program which can address any of these limitations that you may have, making your working life safer. You will less likely be injured from poor postures and poor positioning because you will learn how to position your body well for the job that you need to perform and your program should involve strengthening which will also help you to avoid injury in the workplace.
Of course, some injuries are purely accidental and cannot be avoided. In this case as said earlier it is essential that you get the injury seen to as quickly as possible. There needs to be adequate rest for healing but this does not always mean time off work. If possible it is best to continue to work with alternative duties otherwise separation from your workplace can lead to chronic pain cycles and even depression in some cases.
Alternative duties empower you to keep up your routine which is essential for your mental health. This is most important if you have any pain as pain can easily cause you to have feelings of depression.
These alternative duties are part of your rehabilitation and your physiotherapist can help to advise what alternative duties you should be doing. These duties can be progressed so that in time you are able to get back to your normal duties safely and without risk of exacerbating your injury. Your rehabilitation should include strengthening and conditioning exercises for you to be able to get to full strength required to perform your duties at work.
If you have had a lifting injury and your job is predominantly involved with lifting it is still important to return to work as soon as possible even if your alternative duties are nothing like you would normally do.
Back injuries can take some time to rehabilitate and these are the most common injuries that we see. It is important that you do not become stressed if you do have a back injury. Most people in their lifetime will hurt their back at some time.
Complete rest is not good for lower back injuries and we do suggest that relative rest is a better way to deal with an acute back injury. Relative rest means that you still get up and walk around and maybe perform some very gently range of movement exercises within your pain limits that your physiotherapist will prescribe for you.
Complete rest can sometimes lead to adhesions within the tissues which can lead to a cycle of chronic pain. Chronic pain cycles can see you developing pain in areas that you have not injured. If your pain gets to this stage before you see a physiotherapist it can seem quite overwhelming as you are not sure which pain to treat first.
Therefore it is important to get to the physiotherapist quickly so that the risk of developing these chronic pain symptoms is eliminated. So remember that all injuries should be checked out early so that a strategy and program can be put in place to get you back to your best (or sometimes even better than your best) as soon as possible, minimising your risk of future injuries.
Rehabilitation should include a progressive program that works for you and involves your input so that the goals set are those that you set. Our physiotherapists specialise in back to work programs and ‘Body Fix” programs that are designed to get you back to your best. Because everybody has the right to be pain-free.
To get yourself back to your best and eliminate the pain, call us on 07 3278 1186 or book on line.