Injury Prevention Deserves Your Attention
Published Wednesday, July 27, 2022
By Lily Colquhoun, Prevention and Screening Clinical Services
Musculoskeletal injuries happen more frequently than any other type of occupational injury. These injuries can affect several areas of your body including muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, nerves, joints, cartilage, or blood vessels in your arms, legs, head, neck or back. A sharp or nagging pain in your back, swelling or numbness in your arm, and loss of joint movement and weakness are all signs of musculoskeletal injuries. They can happen suddenly or develop over time, limiting your daily movement and activities.
Injury prevention, including recognizing risks, is important in all areas of your life. That being said, because not all risks are avoidable, you should use good judgement before starting an activity and only take smart risks. Taking smart risks involves knowing the risks of an activity and managing that risk to prevent injuries. Whether you are in the office, garage, home, or sports arena, the good news is that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of a musculoskeletal injury.
Maintaining good posture is a good way to start. This involves training your body to sit, stand and walk in positions that reduce the amount of strain on your joints and muscles. Keeping good posture and setting up your workstation properly will help to avoid any excess reaching and bending. This not only minimizes your risk of discomfort and injury, but can also improve performance at work.
When lifting objects, remember to bend at your knees and hips to prevent you from using your back. Stand close to the load with your feet approximately shoulder width apart. Do not lift more than you can carry safely, without unnecessary strain, and seek help when loads are too heavy
When getting ready to be active, incorporate a warm up that targets the muscles you will be using. Warming up and cooling down can reduce the risk of injury. Knowing the environment you are moving in and being aware of your surroundings can also go a long way in preventing injury-causing incidents. Additionally, wearing protective gear such as helmets or padding can protect your body parts in the event of an impact.
Muscle fatigue increases risk of injury and can result in serious damage. Knowing your limits and ensuring good rest can prevent short-term muscle fatigue from becoming long-term overuse injuries. By recognizing fatigue, you will allow your body to recover so that you can continue being active throughout your lifetime.
For more information on how to prevent musculoskeletal injuries in different professions and in day-to-day activities, visit https://msdprevention.com/hazards-and-controls/.