Overexertion and repetitive stress injuries make up a fourth of all work injuries. Repetitive pulling, lifting, punching in numbers, typing, pushing, holding, carrying, and scanning are the most common causes of job-related injuries. These types of injuries are the most common that cause missed days at work. Overexertion can lead to lasting physical chronic conditions, ranging from chronic back pain to chronic joint pain caused by the advanced wearing and tearing of the various musculoskeletal tissues. Chiropractic medicine takes a comprehensive and whole-body approach to treating neuromusculoskeletal injuries. Chiropractic relieves tight or damaged muscles, increases nerve energy flow, and properly aligns the joints through adjustments, spinal traction, decompression, and various forms of manual manipulation.
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Overexertion and Repetitive Stress Injuries
Overexertion and repetitive stress injuries typically occur over time/years of engaging in the same strenuous activity regularly. However, an overexertion injury can occur with one sudden or extreme movement. A worker can injure muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments. Overexertion can lead to musculoskeletal disorders with symptoms including:
- Chronic pain
- Limited or total loss of mobility in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
A few of the most common examples of overexertion injuries include:
- Injuries to muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints.
- Pulled, strained back muscles.
- Herniated discs.
- Compressed nerve roots.
- Fractured vertebrae.
Dehydration and Heat Stroke
- Most common among workers doing outdoor manual labor.
Repetitive and Overuse
- Injuries range from carpal tunnel syndrome to stress fractures.
- Often the result of weeks, months, or years of repeated movements
- In many cases, two or more injuries can happen simultaneously.
- For example, a worker is more likely to sustain an injury if they are dehydrated or they are performing dual tasks.
Certain movements and activities are more likely to cause overexertion injuries. Some of the most common include:
- Daily lifting of objects, light and heavy.
- Performing awkward movements that cause the body to be in unhealthy positions.
- Standing and/or sitting or for long periods.
- Using excessive force to perform tasks.
- Operating heavy machinery.
- Working in hot and/or humid conditions.
High-Rate Injury Industries
Industries in which overexertion injuries are most common include:
- Health services.
- Warehouse work.
- Wholesale trade.
- Retail stores.
These injuries can lead to missed work, debilitating pain, and medical bills. Depending on the severity of the injury, chiropractic care will use massage techniques, spinal manipulation, traction, and decompression therapies, to increase flexibility and mobility to reduce the chances of a recurring injury. The benefits of chiropractic include:
- Prevents the risk of worsening or future injuries.
- Expedites recovery to help individuals rehabilitate and get back to work sooner.
- Improves physical and mental well-being.
- Provide recommendations on how to properly stretch and strengthen muscles.
- Nutritional anti-inflammatory recommendations.
By learning how to avoid overexertion injuries, workers can be more productive, enjoy work, and improve their quality of life.
From Injury To Recovery
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Choi, Hyun-Woo, et al. “Characteristics of occupational musculoskeletal disorders of five sectors in the service industry between 2004 and 2013.” Annals of Occupational and environmental medicine vol. 29 41. 19 Sep. 2017, doi:10.1186/s40557-017-0198-4
Friedenberg, Rivi, et al. “Work-related musculoskeletal disorders and injuries among emergency medical technicians and paramedics: A comprehensive narrative review.” Archives of Environmental & occupational health vol. 77,1 (2022): 9-17. doi:10.1080/19338244.2020.1832038
Galinsky, T et al. “Overexertion injuries in home health care workers and the need for ergonomics.” Home health care services quarterly vol. 20,3 (2001): 57-73. doi:10.1300/J027v20n03_04
González Fuentes, Aroa, et al. “Work-related overexertion injuries in cleaning occupations: An exploration of the factors to predict the days of absence by means of machine learning methodologies.” Applied ergonomics, vol. 105 103847. 30 Jul. 2022, doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2022.103847
Schoenfisch, Ashley L et al. “Declining rates of work-related overexertion back injuries among union drywall installers in Washington State, 1989-2008: Improved work safety or shifting of care?.” American Journal of industrial medicine vol. 57,2 (2014): 184-94. doi:10.1002/ajim.22240
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