How to prevent most work injuries
Posted by: Dr. Darris Gentry |

11 Ways to Prevent Musculoskeletal Injuries: Shield Yourself from Workplace Injuries

Did you know disorders of the musculoskeletal system make up most occupational injuries and result in the most missed work days?

For most Americans, employers require their time at the office a minimum of 40 hours per week. For many of us, finding time for ourselves is next to impossible. So feeling tired, achy, and drained throughout the work week is something many workers just learn to live with. This article discusses preventative measures you can take to protect yourself from occupational illness or injury, and how chiropractic care canmake you feel 16 again (I said feel not look 16 again.)   

Understanding Musculoskeletal Injuries and the WorkPlace 

Specific disorders of the musculoskeletal system relate to different body regions and professional work. While there are many factors that contribute to on-the-job injuries, the following occur more frequently. Disorders in the lower back are often associated with lifting and carrying heavy loads or to the application of vibration.

Upper limb disorders, such as fingers, hands, wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders, and neck are attributed to repetitive or long-lasting static force exertion. Sitting for lengthened amounts of time while working at a desk or in front of a computer may cause pain the neck, upper back, shoulders, and lower back.  

According to the National Safety Council, approximately, 93 million work days are lost each year in the United States, with an approximated cost of $30 billion to $50 billion annually. Not only do work injuries create financial difficulties within the workforce, but they also take an emotional toll on employees.

Many injured workers experience a range of problems including:

  • Extra burden on family members
  • Lost productivity and efficiency performing job duties
  • Debilitating pain
  • Lasting pain, that worsens with age  

At this day and age, it's not out of the ordinary for the average person to have a thousand tasks to juggle daily. We often put our health and bodies at the end of the to-do list and even refuse to call in sick when fighting the flu.

Practicing preventative measures not only eliminates costly injuries and emotional pressure, but can improve your overall health by increasing your mentality, endurance, and functioning abilities. 

How to Protect your Musculoskeletal System
  1. Don’t Smoke: Smoking creates a greater risk of heart attack and stroke, causes coronary artery disease, increases blood pressure and blocks arteries. It alleviates the LDL “lousy” cholesterol and lowers the HDL healthy cholesterol. Smoking destroys the musculoskeletal system by decreasing exercise tolerance due to the reduced amount of oxygen available to muscle tissue. Avoid smoking to keep you healthy. 
  2. Stretch Often Throughout the Day- Maintain muscles, tendons, and ligaments by doing routine stretching and stretching movements throughout the day. If possible, primarily focus on strengthening your abdomen, quadriceps, shoulders, and hamstrings while also staying limber.
  3. Keep an eye on your blood pressure- Just because you don’t show symptoms right away doesn’t mean your blood pressure is at a healthy standing. Check your levels regularly, a considerable amount of damage can be done before you realize your blood pressure is elevated.
  4. Watch your cholesterol- Try to maintain a good ratio between your LDL and your HDL, studies show risk factors associated with chronic low back pain, are smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. People with these conditions were twice as likely to have back pain. The theory is that these conditions may slow the blood flow to the lumbar spine, causing pain.
  5. Manage your weight- Try to keep your body at a healthy weight. Stationary lifestyles and aging cause the body to lose muscle tone. Added weight and gravity combined with muscle resistance cause the body to fall out of alignment. This deficiency of alignment causes stress on discs, bones, ligaments, and tendons, resulting in micro tears in fibers with ensuing pain.   
  6. Live a balanced life- Nowadays life is filled with deadlines, noise, interruptions, and stressors that put us out of balance. Take a few moments to try and collect your thoughts and balance your day with healthy outlets that give you a chance to rest and enjoy your life. Physical activity, like going for a 30 minute walk outside, can help reduce the stress of everyday life. 
  7. Be sure to consume enough water- Drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily. Water flushes toxins and waste products out of the body.
  8. Get enough sleep at night-- Getting sleep adequately protects the immune system, rejuvenates cells and makes us feel better.   
  9. Practice good posture-- Whether sitting, standing, lifting heavy equipment, kneeling, bending, good posture is vital. Good posture, when sitting or standing, keeps the body in proper alignment. It reduces strain on the bones structure and individual muscle groups plus keeps muscles toned. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor while sitting instead of crossed or straight out in front of you. While standing, picture a straight line that drops from the ear to the shoulder to the hips.
  10. Inhibit osteoporosis- Risks include smoking, excessive alcohol use, low calcium intake, and lack of exercise. Although men have a lower risk than women, they are still at risk, with white men holding the highest risk of all ethnic groups. Additional risks include prolonged exposure to certain medications, such as steroids, anticonvulsants, and certain cancer treatments.  Regular weight bearing exercise, like lifting weights, help increase bone density.  
  11. Seek Chiropractic Care- Doctors of chiropractic realign patient’s spines and musculoskeletal systems restoring nerve flow to the limbs and organs putting patients on the road to exceptional health. If not treated properly, diminished nerve energy will lead to pain, fatigue, organ dysfunction, and even disease. Regular visits to the chiropractor allow patients to heal safely and naturally without the use of drugs or surgery. Many patients under chiropractic care report fast pain relief and immediate feelings of wellness after just a few visits.  

Remember the daily key components include healthy weight, implementing exercises, and eating a balanced diet. Try to consume, 1000– 1200 mg of calcium (contained in green leafy vegetables and dairy products), 400–800 IU of Vitamin D (from fortified dairy products, egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and sun exposure), incorporate magnesium and take it in divided doses (600 mg in the morning and 600 mg in the evening).

Arrowhead Chiropractic Clinics have been helping injured patients by providing safe and natural treatment for over 40 years. Along with chiropractic treatment, we can provide therapeutic massage and aid in lifestyle changes to optimize your health results fully. Whether you were injured at work or seeking healing therapy, we can help get you back on your feet!

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