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Dr. Darris GentrySep 19, 2016 7:54:33 AM5 min read

Preventing Musculoskeletal Injuries: 11 Ways To 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, and for many people this means hunched over in awkward postures.

For many of us, finding time for ourselves is next to impossible.

So feeling tired, achy, and drained throughout the workweek is something many workers just learn to live with.

This article discusses injury prevention measures you can take to protect yourself from occupational illness or injury, and how chiropractic care can make you feel 16 again.

Understanding Musculoskeletal Disorders and the WorkPlace 

Specific musculoskeletal disorders relate to different body regions and professional work.

While there are many risk factors that contribute to on-the-job injuries, the following occur more frequently. Musculoskeletal 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 workdays 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.

We aren't only refusing to prevent injury; sometimes we unknowingly do things that encourage them.

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- To prevent injury, 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. Being overweight increases your risk of injury. 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.
  6. Live a balanced life- Nowadays life is filled with deadlines, noise, interruptions, and stressors that put us out of balance. To make life better, 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.
  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, or bending, good posture is vital. Good posture, when sitting or standing, keeps the body in proper alignment and reduces strain on the bones structure and individual muscle groups plus keeps muscles toned.
  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 can realign patient’s spines and restore 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 a few visits.  

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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Dr. Darris Gentry

Dr. Darris Gentry is Arrowhead Clinic’s Duluth Chiropractor. He specializes in treating accident victims as well as people suffering from chronic pain conditions. With the use of manual and hands-on spinal adjustments, he is able to help restore proper function and mobility to patients’ bodies. Dr. Gentry has been a practicing chiropractor for over 20 years. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and Life University, one of the country's top chiropractic schools. He enjoys treating patients who have back pain, neck pain, sciatica pain, and spinal trauma from all sorts of accidents. His main goal is to help his patients physically improve and reduce and manage their pain. Dr. Gentry is a motivated individual who enjoys helping others reach their goals. Healthcare, in all aspects, remains his main interest. He loves being a chiropractor and having the ability to help others. One of Dr. Gentry’s recent patients stated, “The staff is so welcoming, and Dr. Darris Gentry is amazing. He helped me throughout my treatment.” Dr. Gentry provides free, same-day consultations to all potential patients. He is available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. During the consultation, Dr. Gentry will ask questions regarding medical history and a person’s current physical condition, and the type of symptoms they are experiencing. He takes the time to thoroughly examine and diagnose each patient’s condition before coming up with an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to their particular recovery needs.