Overexertion, which means using too much effort, includes injuries related to pulling, lifting, pushing, holding, carrying, and throwing activities at work. Overexertion is the number one workplace injury that leads to injuries. Overexerting certain muscles or body parts over a long period can lead to a chronic injury. Common overuse injuries include stress fractures and tendinitis. The first symptoms may be soreness or aching in a muscle or joint. Any pain warrants slowing down or discontinuing exercise temporarily.
Worst case scenario, if overexertion continues, it will result in:
- Lower back pain
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Torn ligaments/tendons
- Frozen shoulder
- Disc inflammation
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Slips and Falls
This is the number two cause of workplace injuries, which pertains to falls on wet and slippery floors or tripping over something lying on the floor.
Head injury: During a slip and fall, you may suffer from a head injury. If you have persistent headaches, loss of consciousness, abnormal confusion, abnormal sleepiness, or more severe symptoms like seizures or convulsion after the fall, seek medical attention immediately.
Spine injury: Neck or back pain may result from a slip and fall. And if this is accompanied by numbness, tingling, or sudden weakness in the arms or legs, an MRI may be necessary to rule out a nerve that may be obstructed due to the misalignment of the spine due to falling.
Extremity injury: Extremities consist of the upper and lower part of your body. The upper extremities (shoulder, elbow, and wrist) and lower extremities (hip, knee, and ankle) are prone to injury due to the limited muscles that surround these joints.
Possible fracture: Severe pain with any movement, hip pain, wrist pain, tenderness or swelling of a bone, or inability to stand are the primary signs that you may have a fracture. X-rays are required to rule out a fracture as minimal as a hairline fracture.
Employees who drive for business purposes are often injured in auto accidents, some of which can be fatal. Here are some causes of auto accidents during work hours.
Driver fatigue: Sleepiness reduces reaction time (a critical element of safe driving). It also reduces vigilance, alertness, and concentration. The speed at which information is processed is also reduced by sleepiness.
Long journeys: Driving long distances for work may affect your driving judgment, particularly with truck drivers, company car drivers, and shift workers.
Alcohol and medicines: Even small amounts of alcohol, well below the legal drink-drive limit, will exacerbate driver sleepiness so that a tired driver who has had some alcohol will be even more impaired and likely to crash.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
This type of workplace injury is one of those less obvious but MOST HARMFUL ones in the long run. Repetitive motions, such as typing and using the computer 24/7, can strain muscles and tendons, causing back pain, vision problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome. If you’ve had a consistent job for years using the same repetitive movements, you may be suffering from symptoms already.
Ask yourself if you do any of the following movements that may be causing your discomfort.
- Awkward postures: Bending, working overhead, kneeling, twisting, working with a bent wrist.
- Repetition: Performing the same movements over and over (ex. factory worker).
- Excessive force: Lifting heavy objects, pushing or pulling heavy items, using a heavy tool.
- Static posture: Standing in one spot for a long period or holding a position that restricts blood flow and damage muscles.
These are injuries caused by slipping and tripping without falling down to the floor. These incidents can cause muscle injuries, body trauma, and a variety of other medical issues.
Reaction injuries can affect nearly any area of the body. During a pre-fall, our muscles tighten up and are more prone to injury. A downside to this is that we may not notice we have been hurt until hours or days have passed. These reactionary injuries are often much worse than if we had fallen outright because many employees will continue to work and potentially end up complicating the injury even further.
If you have tried to avoid a hazard on the job and ended up injured due to your reaction to keep safe, it will be important to have your injuries examined by a chiropractor. You may have only a little pain in the beginning, but by the end of the workweek, you may find it difficult to even move the injured area. It is important to follow through with a medical examination on sore, painful muscles because without intervention, these injuries can become worse.