Many conditions fall under the category ‘occupational injuries’, ranging from falling to recurring strain injuries resulting from repetitive overuse. When an occupational injury occurs as a result of a trauma, it is managed and treated just like any other injury.
There might also be some associated safety and health issues that generally lie outside the influence of a physiotherapist but our advice is often sought.
Employers are generally very aware of their duties and obligations regarding safety and health, handling and lifting, and other general ergonomic needs. There are, however sometimes cases where further modifications/analysis are required.
Most of the injuries arise from everyday repetitive activities such as reaching, bending, carrying, or light lifting that usually triggers some spinal pain.
What Causes Occupational Injuries?
Frequently, there is an indication of some underlying problem that has simply surfaced as a result of a specific activity, but the root cause has usually developed over a long period. The most common causes include poor joint flexibility, poor postural alignment, poor technique, and reduced muscle tone.
For such cases, physiotherapy usually involves not only treating the acute problems, but also identifying the underlying causes and prescribing an action plan to prevent any recurrences.
People who aren’t very attentive to their musculoskeletal health will usually require some lifestyle and habit changes.
Repetitive Strain Injuries or RSI is another category of occupational injuries and presents quite frequently in patients. We have already discussed it in detail in other parts and it usually presents in the upper limbs involving the neck and/or shoulder region.
A wide range of structures can be affected by RSI and every case’s unique details determine the appropriate course of action.
The clinician involved in treatment must have sufficient experience in dealing with these types of injuries because they are quite complex and require special skills to be diagnosed and treated properly. Unfortunately, it is very common to see cases that are not treated successfully due to a lack of understanding on the clinician’s part.