It’s your right as a worker to be safe on the job, and it’s your right to be compensated should you sustain an injury. Unfortunately, all types of work can pose risks to your body, and sometimes injuries occur despite our best prevention efforts.
The physicians at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists accept workers’ compensation to help you get back on your feet after a workplace injury. However, we also want our patients to be aware of the most common injuries sustained at work and the steps they can take to prevent them before they happen. Here are the three most common types of work-related injury to watch out for during your workday:
Repetitive Motion Strain
If left unaddressed, repetitive motion of any kind can lead to strain on your muscles and tendons, especially in your hands or wrists. This type of injury can affect people in a wide variety of occupations -- those performing repetitive assembly line work are just as much at risk for muscle strain as those who spend their workday typing on a keyboard. If possible, it’s best to prevent these types of injuries before they develop into something that will require medical care or surgery, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, Dr. Matthew Bernstein and Dr. Mark Yaffe specialize in treating upper extremity work related injuries. Some things you can do at work to break the cycle of repetitive motion include:
- Performing hand and wrist exercises to keep your muscles limber.
- Using proper form and posture for your task while working.
- Taking short breaks from repetitive motion every 3 hours.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Accidents can happen at work, and when they do, a little pain afterward may seem like a non-issue. However, injuries resulting from tripping, slipping and falling can do serious harm to your body. The most common of these injuries include neck strain, twisted knees and ankles, pulled back muscles and other muscle tears due to sudden falls. Be sure to practice the following preventative measures to avoid getting injured:
- Keep your workstation clear of things you may trip on
- Be attentive to your surroundings, including other people
- Report unsafe conditions in the workplace, including lack of non-slip floor coverings
Injuries from Overexertion
According to the National Safety Council, the most common workplace injuries are those that occur due to overexertion. In fact, overexertion injuries make up 35% of all workplace injuries reported in the United States and lead to nearly as many missed workdays as the common cold. While the majority of these injuries result in back pain, any muscle is vulnerable to overexertion, especially in occupations that involve heavy lifting, pushing or throwing. Even bending or sitting incorrectly at your desk can cause reaction injuries that may result in serious pain. To prevent these injuries from occurring, be sure you’re taking the following precautions at work:
- Observe your workplace’s safety regulations
- Practice proper heavy lifting techniques
- Be aware of your posture throughout the day
- Exercise regularly to build your strength
- Keep hydrated throughout your day and follow a proper stretching program
The physicians at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists have years of experience treating work related injuries and providing patients with comprehensive evaluation and treatment options. Our Schaumburg location offers a work conditioning program which is designed to safely return the injured worker to full duty work following the completion of their acute therapy.
While reporting an injury to your employer it may feel like an imposition, it’s important to remember that all of the injuries listed above can become worse over time if left untreated. The more you ignore your body’s early warning signs, the more it could result in being out of work for longer.
The team at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists has a dedicated workers’ compensation department and can be reached directly at (847) 285-4220, or by completing a Request an Appointment form on our website at www.barringtonortho.com.