Ever wonder why athletes are back on the playing field so quickly after an injury, meanwhile someone from work may be on a disability leave for weeks to months with a similar injury? The answer is quite simple – these employees are not being managed the same way that an athlete would. This is just one of the key factors behind why companies continue to struggle with the management of workplace injuries and the associated rising healthcare costs.
Employees working in the industrial sector face similar strength, agility and stamina requirements that would also be seen in the sports sector. Furthermore, these employees might not realize that they are putting these same stresses on their bodies as an athlete would, and thus are not taking the necessary steps to take better care of themselves. Even office workers who spend countless hours behind a computer desk are extremely prone to overuse injuries that can lead to tendonitis, sprains or strains. Thus, proper employee education on postural awareness and body conditioning, along with an aggressive and accountable workplace injury management strategy are key steps that companies need to focus their efforts on to provide a more productive and cost-efficient workplace.
Athletic Therapists have recently changed the workplace paradigm towards this new focus by utilizing their expertise in sports injury management and applying this model to the working population. In addition to their advanced training in musculoskeletal prevention, care and rehabilitation, Athletic Therapists also have specialized training in the study of human movement - helpful in identifying potential injuries and enhancing ergonomic applications. Whether in sports or in a workplace setting, Athletic Therapists have the experience to look for biomechanical risk factors that would cause an injury or predispose an individual to injury. This information is vital in developing proactive and preventative strategies centered around client education, and promoting quicker and more sustainable rehab outcomes – both of which lead to a faster return to work/sport.
Here are some of our suggestions to implement proactive measures in the workplace:
- Utilizing Athletic Therapists (with advanced manual therapy and strength and conditioning skills) to create specialized programs to help condition employees to the demands of their job, and to oversee injury management programs to ensure efficient and sustainable treatment outcomes.
- Implementation of warm-up and cool-down stretch programs for employees on shift.
- Promotion and encouragement of healthy lifestyles and physical fitness to employees
- Ergonomic training to ensure employees are using proper body mechanics and technique at the workplace and incorporate refresher training modules as necessary.
- Implementation of biomechanical/structural screening measures to identify risk factors and to proactively educate employees on general body care and postural awareness.
- On-site Athletic Therapist to increase emloyee productivity, increase control on the quality of the care and boost employee morale
Honsberger Physio+ is all about helping you work better! Our injury prevention services offer centralized workplace healthcare solutions that make it easy to recognize, prioritize and avoid employee injury. Learn more here.
Jason Varghese, B.SC. KIN, CAT(C)
Certified Athletic Therapist + Certified Kinesiologist