Break bad habits before they cause workplace injuries

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2013 | Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries can happen in a lot of ways. There are so many different things that can create hazards that result in injury-causing accidents. Not all are as major as those that might be experienced in an industrial setting. Most are more serious than a simple paper cut, though. When injuries do occur, they should not be ignored. And ensuring that you obtain the full depth of coverage possible, it may help to work with an attorney.

In Bucks County, as in most of the country, the most common injury reported these days among working people is repetitive stress injury. These may present in any number of ways. Conditions include tendinitis, ganglion cysts, back issues, muscle pain or even loss of muscle control. One of the most common hand, wrist and nerve injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome.

According to those in the occupational therapy field, these are the most common forms of workplace injuries because they develop as a result of our day to day practices and habits. The good news is that if they form by habits, changing our habits can reduce the chances of the conditions developing. Here are some tips from the OT field that may help avoid carpal tunnel.

  • Mind your posture: Mom always sit up straight. The OT experts agree. They say when at your desk, keep your spine against the back of your chair. Don’t scrunch over. Relax your shoulders. Feet should be flat on the floor.
  • Watch your head: Facilitate better circulation and nerve function by doing what you can to hold your head at the mid-line. Doing this also helps arms and hands.
  • Keep wrists neutral: Craning wrists up, down or left and right adds tension. That can result in pain. Most computer keyboards don’t support true neutrality, but some do. Using foam wrist rests can help avoid straining. The same goes for elbows. Keep them relaxed near the torso. Adjusting armrests on the desk chair can help, but don’t lean on them.
  • Exercise: Specifically, exercise wrists, fingers and thumbs. OT experts suggest doing something every other day to strengthen muscles and ligaments.

If after doing these things you are experiencing numbness or pain that keeps you up at night, the experts say it’s time to see a doctor. But don’t forget that these injuries are likely work related and covered by workers’ compensation.

Source: Journal Courier, “10 ways to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome,” MaryJane Slaby, April 22, 2013