Managing Workplace Injuries
Following up on our previous blog post on Preventing Workplace Injuries, we also received some great tips from Birmingham clinician Morgan Jackson, PT, DPT on managing workplace injuries.
- Know Your Body: It’s important to monitor any aches and pains that begin to appear. The earlier you catch the injury the better – if injuries last more than 2-3 weeks, it’s time to see someone. Recovery can be much quicker, and you can avoid more serious issues that could require surgery and/or physical therapy.
- Know Your Symptoms: Dull aches that go away may be normal, but a persistent burning sensation or sharp pain may indicate that it’s time to see someone.
- Know Your Situation: If your activity level has changed, pains may be expected, but if your activity level hasn’t changed and you aren’t doing a new job with different movements – it may be time to see a therapist.
Most small strains or overuse injuries go away after two weeks, if the proper adjustments and rest are performed. It’s important to see a doctor if the pain persists to avoid a more serious injury, for example, carpal tunnel syndrome, that could require surgery and/or physical therapy.
This is also an important time to talk to your employer’s HR team (or the person in charge of injury prevention, such as a safety manager) about your pain. They can review the setup of your work area, chair and look at your posture to help you get into a more comfortable position.
Be sure to ask questions about the changes they suggest so you have a full understanding of the reasons for the changes. And finally, if you don’t already have it, now would be a good time ask for any materials they have on injury prevention.