Ergonomic Training & Body Mechanics
Protect Yourself from Injury with Proper Posture, Body Mechanics and Ergonomic Training
Do you have pesky aches and pains related to work? Ergonomic training can help.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable or experiencing pain at work – whether while sitting or standing at the computer all day, or the assembly line, or whatever your circumstance may be – ergonomic training can help!
Sometimes it’s as easy as using items around your home or workplace that can be modified to make you more comfortable. An old book to raise your computer monitor to an effective height. Resting one foot on a stool or household kitchen step while standing all day at the assembly line.
Ergonomics – the science of work – is defined as the study and application of efficiency in one’s working environment.
Ergonomics typically employs the use of certain tools, workstation set-up, and body mechanics that focus on maximizing efficiency and safety, in addition to identifying and changing factors that may lead to injury.
At Rose City Physical Therapy, our physical therapists can use ergonomics and body mechanic training to help resolve issues with pain you may face in your daily life, in addition to helping you prevent injuries.
To learn more about ergonomics and how it can benefit you, contact our Portland, OR physical therapy office today!
What does ergonomic and body mechanic training look like?
Treating an injury symptomatically – i.e. only treating the pain – doesn’t guarantee that the injury won’t return. In fact it’s likely an injury will return, or become chronic. That’s why it is important to address the cause of the injury and find ways to fix it. Perhaps it’s a faulty computer desk setup, or use of a tool without proper vibration damping handle grips or gloves, or exceeding safe allowances for lifting.
When you arrive for your initial physical therapy appointment, one of our highly trained Portland, OR physical therapists will conduct a thorough physical evaluation in addition to reviewing your medical history, current work related injury history and cause of your pain, and discuss in detail your work and home environment.
Our physical therapist may ask you questions regarding the set-up of your desk or office, the type of tools and equipment you use, the expectations and demands of your job, and a summary of your typical day. This will help determine what items may be subject to modification.
When focusing on ergonomics and body mechanics, the goal is to improve posture, body and functional movement awareness, and energy efficiency. This is completed by recommending necessary adjustments and modifications to your work environment or the tools you use, to reduce and prevent further pain and injury.
For example, we may advise changing the position of your computer monitor on your desk relative to where you’re sitting, or suggest setting a timer to remind you to get up more frequently to walk around and take a short break, or alternate sitting and standing throughout the day at a computer work station. For someone working overhead often, who is experiencing shoulder pain, a step ladder or platform to work off of may be recommended to ease the strain on the shoulders by being up closer to your overhead work demands.
In some circumstances, specialized devices or equipment modifications (such as splints or wrist supports) may be recommended as a way to make your daily tasks more comfortable.
How can I benefit from ergonomics and body mechanic training?
The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) reports companies in the United States spend at least $170 billion annually on occupational injuries.
They also indicate that with implementing certain health and safety systems – which includes ergonomics and body mechanic training – companies could reduce their injury and lost time at work costs by as much as 40%.
Some of the most common work-sustained injuries are typically caused by poor posture, excessive sedentary behavior, and improper workspace setup, and include:
- Tendon pain
- Rotator cuff strains and tears
- Trigger finger
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (median nerve entrapment at the wrist).
- Medial or lateral epicondylosis (golfer’s or tennis elbow, respectively)
- Cervical (Neck) strain and pain (including a new phenomenon called “text neck”)
- Tension headaches
- Lumbar (Low back) pain
Addressing the ergonomics of your work environment can decrease your risk of sustaining injury; in turn saving a lot of money on medical bills, lost wages, disrupted work and personal activity, and decreased productivity!
You can also implement ergonomic and body mechanic strategies into your daily activities as well – everything from using your phone, to driving, and to playing sports all have room for modification!
Ready to get started and relieve your pain?
If your work or personal life is causing you pain, it could be fixed with some simple changes !
In addition to the ergonomic and body mechanic training we provide you with, it is likely that you will also be prescribed additional physical therapy services, such hands on manual therapy and a home exercise program, depending on your individual needs.
Contact Rose City Physical Therapy today at Portland, OR to request an appointment and find out how you can live your life comfortably!