Workplace Hazards: Top Job Situations That Might Lead to Joint Damage
Modern workplaces are known for putting workers at risk in different ways, but some injuries go beyond what you can readily perceive. Joint pain is a real problem for countless Americans, and their occupations could be making the situation worse.
Here are some of the ways your job might be affecting you and a few potential solutions.
Workplace Joint Pain Causes
In many cases, joint pain symptoms are the result of MSDs, or musculoskeletal disorders. These conditions can impact areas like your nerves, tendons, joints and other soft tissues. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, estimates that about 33 percent of expenses caused by professional injuries and illnesses are related to MSDs, so these ailments are a concern for companies and individuals alike.
Many different industries exhibit notably high incidences of MSDs. From factory personnel who routinely lift heavy loads to office workers who sit at computers, these health conditions have lasting negative impacts on people’s lives. The real question is how so many unique occupations are related.
To understand the role of occupation on MSDs and joint pain, it helps to examine the contributing factors. Job circumstances that seem extremely different may share similar ergonomic hazards, and their dangers can pose hidden threats to employees. Common risks include:
Activities that are physically demanding take their toll on people’s joints. Forceful exertions, such as lifting or carrying heavy objects, can cause MSDs. In some cases, seemingly low-risk activities, like working with your hands, result in similar problems.
These actions can also promote joint and disc irritation that cause increased inflammatory side effects. When workers perform such activities repeatedly, they’re in danger of experiencing ongoing chronic pain.
Awkward Postures, Movements and Positions
Joint pain injuries can impact any part of the body, such as the back, neck, legs or limbs. Sitting or standing for long hours may put you at risk.
Forceful exertion risk factors often combine with postural hazards when workers have to assume awkward positions or maintain the same positions for prolonged periods. When people have to overextend to manipulate heavy loads or reach equipment, they increase their risk of joint harm.
Insufficient Recovery Time
Poor working hours are common risk factors that may result in joint pain injuries. Workers need time to recover from stressful physical situations, and when they aren’t granted appropriate breaks, they stand a greater chance of getting hurt.
The longer people work without relief, the more exhausted they become. Being tired on the job can contribute to MSD incidence. Injury sufferers often report working in environments where they’re pressured to stay productive or unable to influence their job conditions.
Experiencing continuous vibrations comes with numerous risks. For instance, such motion can damage the tiny capillaries in your hands and arms that supply your muscles and help you maintain positive control of tools.
Vibrations also desensitize your body and cause you to apply more force to the task at hand, which increases your exertion risk. Using power tools, operating large vehicles and working around industrial equipment can all place you in higher ergonomic danger.
Being too cold or too hot is a risk factor for workplace MSDs. Those who work on outdoor job sites and in food processing facilities may be at risk of growing numb to the amount of force they use to perform tasks.
The cold can also impede your flexibility, raising the likelihood that you might suffer a strain. Overbearingly hot or humid conditions increase the rate at which you grow tired, so they’re no better.
Lowering Your Joint Pain Risk
The preceding factors exemplify just some of the workplace hazards that might result in joint pain injuries. Other problematic circumstances may include your age, tendency towards obesity or ongoing health ailments, such as preexisting osteoarthritis.
The CDC maintains that employers can combat joint pain by improving working conditions. For instance, providing mechanical aids that help people lift heavy loads, furnishing hand tools designed to vibrate less or permitting more frequent breaks can all help workers avoid MSDs.
Dealing With Existing Joint Pain
In many cases, occupational joint pain gets so bad that sufferers become partially or fully disabled. Some even consider joint replacement. Not only is joint replacement not a permanent solution, but the surgery can also mean long hospital stays, the risk of infection and an extended healing time. At Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics (ARO), our 3-day process provides a unique approach to joint repair. We use a combination of arthroscopy, denervation, stem cell technology and regenerative medicine to preserve your natural joint and return you to your active lifestyle as soon as possible.