Ergonomics is a scientific discipline that is concerned with designing the elements in your living and work atmosphere to fit your needs. Various scientific studies have revealed that there is a connection between job physical demands and work related musculoskeletal problems. Prolonged exposure to physical stress, overexertion, awkward postures, excessive vibration, repetitive tasks and heavy lifting can dramatically increase the incidence of potentially hazardous work related musculoskeletal problems. Adherence to good ergonomic practices can greatly reduce the extent and severity of these injuries. Developing injury prevention strategies and timely medical interventions can help control, treat and recover from ergonomic health hazards and work related musculoskeletal problems. A sports medicine doctor identifies ergonomic hazards, offers medical assessments and formulates treatment plans to address the health issues associated with it. They offer biomechanical evaluation, posture correction and customized home exercise program catered to your unique needs. Prompt treatment can correct body mechanics and overcome repetitive strain injuries! Ergonomics – the science of better living and working!
Ergonomics interventions focus on optimizing factors that improve musculoskeletal function, prevent musculoskeletal injuries and help preserve the natural function of muscles, joints and other soft tissues. It may include
- A postural assessment is performed to identify muscular imbalances and develop a more effective, personalized exercise program tailored to your specific needs.
- Joint mobilization and manipulation techniques are also used to relieve pain and increase range of motion, thereby improving function.
- Soft tissue mobilization, a hands-on-technique may be performed to reduce pain and relax muscles by stimulating the body’s own healing power.
- Incorporating stretching and flexibility exercises can help reduce injury, optimize flexibility and improve biomechanics.
- Creating a highly ‘customized home exercise program’ catered to your specific needs, greatly helps to overcome repetitive strain injuries.
- Traction can also help relieve sore joints and muscles and make you feel better.
- Electrical modalities may be used to ease pain by gently stimulating the nerves by passing mild current.
Besides, these onsite ergonomics assessments are also provided to promote wellness and reduce the onset of work-related pain.
Ergonomics intervention may be needed for
- People who have developed musculoskeletal disorders due to awkward postures, repetitive motion, forceful exertion, vibrations, contact stressors or environmental stressors
- People who suffer from severe pain that limits their ability to function, such as chronic back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome
- People who frequently experience decreased grip strength, loss of muscle function, decreased range of motion of joints, low back pain, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet and joint swelling
The ideal candidate for an Ergonomics intervention program include
- Those looking to prevent injury, or those starting to experience problems, those being treated for an injury related to their job, or those looking to improve how they feel throughout the work day
The Risks Involved
Most of the treatment modalities that fall under the realm of “physical therapy” are aimed at accelerating the body’s own healing process, quickening recovery, promoting better movement and fostering return to activities. Hence, there are absolutely no risks associated with it. However, frequent appointments, slow progress and lengthy time spent for therapy can tax your schedule.
Ergonomics intervention program assures pain relief, proper postural alignment, regaining movement or range of motion, improving and correcting posture and development/ implementation of a customized home exercise program. Physical therapy programs for ergonomic issues can help reduce workplace injuries and increase productivity and worker morale.
Years of abusing our bodies catch up later in our life. Yes, workplace musculoskeletal disorders develop over the course of time as a result of excessive daily fatigue outpacing the body’s ability to recover. Implementing a strong ergonomics program can nip musculoskeletal disorders in the bud! Do not delay! Address ergonomic issues, right away and stop the progression of your injury!