What is ergonomics & joint protection?
Ergonomics looks at a person’s daily tasks at a job, hobby or home to find ways to make activities safer and more efficient. One part of this is joint protection techniques, or ways to complete activities in a simpler way. This will help you to not hurt your joints or wear them down as time goes on.
What are the symptoms?
Poor ergonomic habits can often lead to injuries of your tendons, joints, muscles and nerves. Over time, you may even develop arthritis, especially when the
small joints are used for jobs stronger than they are made for. Other symptoms like eye strain, fatigue, headache and decreased productivity may also occur.
What causes poor ergonomics & joint strain?
Improper workstation setup can place body parts in positions that may cause strain to tendons, muscles, joints and nerves. This can happen if you work at a desk, factory or while doing activities at home. Repeating tasks or movements without changing positions can lead to a buildup of pressure and strain in your body. After long or repeated periods of time, pressure in the body can lead to injury.
What is the treatment for body issues related to ergonomics & joint protection?
For joint, muscle, nerve or tendon pain and injuries, it is important to see a doctor first. A hand therapist can then treat your injury with tools such as heat or ice, massage, stretching and exercise. Learning how to change your habits to make your activities fit your body is very important, so as not to reinjure yourself. Thereare many tips your hand therapist can share with you. You may need to change your workstation to better fit your body. Learning to stretch, take breaks and change your position are helpful actions. There are also tools that can make work easier for you. For example, using an electric can opener while in the kitchen, or carrying items in a backpack instead of in a shopping bag can help. Your workspace can be arranged to best fit your body and needs. Other factors such as temperature and lighting can also be considered.
Our Certified Hand Therapist and Ergonomic Specialist (CHT/CEAS) can evaluate your work space, body positioning, and overall environment and generate the best solutions to decrease your risk of injury and pain. This assessment can be made virtually or in person to help get you jump started on a new and healthy lifestyle. In addition to our CHT, all of our therapists can make accurate postural assessments and will always be happy to offer suggestions and tips on how to improve your body mechanics.