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Using physical therapy to deal with occupational injuries

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In the past few years, there have been fewer occupational injuries than before. This is partly due to the impact of on the workplace. Physical therapy principles are being used to design better workplaces and work habits. They are also important in dealing with the occupational injuries that do occur.

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Occupational injury problems include back and neck problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder and knee dislocations, tennis elbow, and leg and ankle strains. Physical therapy can be used to treat any of these conditions.

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Back and neck problems are prime examples of occupational injuries. They occur as a result of improper lifting, lifting while turning, repetitive turning, or improper sitting. In the case of minor occupational injuries, workers’ compensation may take care of the treatment.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome is often seen in offices. However, it can also occur in other jobs, such as on assembly lines. Tennis elbow can also be an occupational injury that occurs any time you twist your wrist repeatedly. For example, it is often done in packaging plants when workers twist products into containers.

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Patients with occupational injuries are usually placed in light duty jobs. Some may even be fired from their jobs. A physical therapist can step in and help the patient regain strength and health. Physical therapy techniques may include exercises, massage and ultrasound.

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The physical therapist will certainly give instructions on how to proceed with home therapy. When the occupational injury has healed sufficiently, the patient will be cleared to return to work. If the patient is working lightly, he will be told when to return to his regular job. If he is off work, he will be told when he can return to light duty, followed by a full day job.

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The idea of physical therapy can also be used to build a better working environment. The work station in the office can be set up to accommodate the correct position of the body. This will ward off occupational injuries caused by repetitive motions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Occupational injuries caused by awkward movements in the workplace can also be eliminated if the work environment is set up in an ergonomic manner. Physical therapists have a lot of knowledge about the way the workplace is constructed.

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Physical therapists know what equipment is most appropriate to use to avoid occupational injuries. Ergonomic keyboards are recommended, and proper mouse placement is critical. If possible, the physical therapist will recommend that you use a touchpad rather than a mouse.

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Physical therapists can play a large role in preventing any other type of occupational injury in the workplace. They may be asked to consult with employers and ergonomists to discuss what changes need to be made to make the work environment acceptable to patients.

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The work environment is safer than ever before. Ergonomic principles are used, and in many cases workers are required by law to use them if they ask. Injured workers have access to good physical therapy. However, until there is an occupational injury, physical therapy will continue to be valuable in the workplace.