ERGONOMICS

Ergonomics

 

 

What are ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the study and practice of improving the way people move and function within their daily life. Emphasis is placed on maximizing efficiency and safety through the use of certain tools or body mechanic strategies. Ergonomics also identifies how certain factors may be contributing to the injury. The term ergonomics comes from the Greek language and  translates to “fitting a job to the person.”

Physical therapists are trained in ergonomics as a means to help people with injury prevention and resolution. Both the tools used in your home or workplace as well as the way you use these tools, are subject to study and modification. Your physical therapist can determine if these tools and your workplace requirements or home responsibilities are physically suited to you, and if not, what can be done about it.

 

Why are ergonomics so important in the workplace?

According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), companies in the United States spend at least $170 billion annually on occupational injuries. Fortunately, OSHA also points out that businesses can reduce their injury and illness costs by up to 40% by implementing certain health and safety systems, including proper ergonomics training.

So, what kind of injuries are we talking about? The typical American employee may face any of the following musculoskeletal injuries, which are common in the workplace:

  • Cervical strain and pain (including a new phenomenon called “text neck”)
  • TMJ dysfunction and tension headaches
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (median nerve entrapment at the wrist)
  • Tendonitis (inflammation in tendons)
  • Rotator cuff strains and tears
  • Medial or lateral epicondylitis (golfer’s or tennis elbow, respectively)
  • Trigger finger
  • Back pain caused by injuries to the muscles, joints, or discs

Of course, it’s not possible to completely eliminate one’s risk for sustaining one of the above injuries. However, it’s important to note that poor posture, excessive sedentary behavior, and improper workspace setup all contribute to the incidence of such conditions.

In other words, fixing your ergonomics at work can drastically decrease your risk of sustaining an injury. Which may cost you in terms of medical bills, lost wages, and decreased productivity!

Also, ergonomics is not just for the workplace. In truth, everyone in your household needs to have a healthy awareness of good ergonomics in their daily lives. While doing everything from using their smartphone to driving to playing sports.

 

What should I expect during an ergonomics evaluation with my physical therapist?

Simply treating the signs and symptoms of an injury won’t necessarily prevent the injury from recurring again and again, at least not until the factors leading to the issue are identified and addressed. This is why an ergonomics evaluation is so critical for both symptom resolution and injury prevention.What you can expect when you come in  for an assessment:

  • One of our therapists will thoroughly evaluate your body, your current and past medical history, and your home and/or work environment.
  • We’ll ask you about 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.

With this in mind, it’s great to see you in your actual environment, we can also simulate or recreate certain tasks or set-ups in order to get a clearer idea of the nature of your work and your general capacity for performing such work.

What does ergonomics treatment typically look like?

With this information we will can educate you on certain strategies that can help you manage your health better in your environment. When it comes to ergonomics, our focus is  improving posture, energy efficiency, and body mechanics. As well as making necessary adjustments and  modifications. In addition, these changes can reduce and prevent further pain and injury. We may recommend adjusting the position of your computer monitor, for example. We can  teach you how to implement a more frequent rest break policy so that you’re not sitting at your desk all day. Our thearpists may also recommend specialized devices or equipment modifications. For example, splints or wrist supports. These can help you perform your typical work duties with greater physical safety and comfort.

In addition to ergonomics training, we’ll likely provide you with other physical therapy services to address your symptoms. Including therapeutic exercises, joint mobilizations, and modalities such as electrical stimulation or cryotherapy.

If you feel you may have ergonomic issues at work, feel free to set up a detailed evaluation with one of our trained therapists.

We would love to hear from you!

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  • Exceptional expertise...as well as service. Their team of physical therapists are trained in techniques that go well beyond what the average PT offers. Every member of my family swears by dynamic bracing. Anytime we have a surgery or pain, we go to them. They've helped us through several post-op recoveries, including shoulder surgeries, hip replacement surgery, ankle surgery, and other orthopedic issues, as well as chronic back pain being fully resolved.

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    Annie Beringer
    4/28/2019

    The therapists really care about their patients. They take the time to research and trouble shoot the issues and adjust treatment as needed. Their techniques are not what mainstream would describe as "physical therapy" but it's an amazing and precise science that really works!! Thanks to the whole team for treating my ailments over the years.

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    Ami Veltrie
    5/28/2019

    The whole team here are so exceptional that words can barely describe. I have a condition that is rarely studied by doctors called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I have seeked treatment by Chiropractors, Acupuncturist, etc, etc. The Strain Counter Strain treatments are beyond amazing in relieving my pain! I don’t want to miss the opportunity to tell everyone that they have some of the most modern and technological exercise equipment ever seen! And holy moly they have bracing for everything. I got a SI joint brace...yeah I said SI joint brace...who has ever heard of one of those? Anyhoo go see them if you have any type of pain from athletic muscle strains to chronic pain from EDS, MS, ALS, etc. I swear their practice can give you some relief. Andrea has magic in her hands!!

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    brian simmons
    5/28/2019
  • I highly recommend Dynamic Bracing and PT. They are very professional and always are accommodating at scheduling. PT has helped my situation.

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    Barbara Soucy
    6/26/2019

    I definitely recommend Dynamic Bracing & Physical Therapy. They are well organized and efficient in all areas including insurance processing and therapy.
    My Physical Therapist, Jesse Dunne, did a great job of explaining what my problem was with my back. She gave me exercises to do at home and did her “magic” to make my back pain free.
    She also put on classes for runners to help with our form, strength and agility. Jesse really knows her stuff. I guess that’s why she has a Doctor of Physical Therapy after her name.

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    Jim Hoppe
    5/08/2019

    Andrea and the team at Dynamic Bracing are nothing short of incredible! Their holistic approach to patient care considers the whole person, not just isolated body parts. They are experts at using strain/counterstrain techniques to allow the body to heal and return to, or finally achieve, optimal functioning. Their model enables them to identify the source of the issue, versus treating random symptoms. I have tried chiropractic, massage therapy, and traditional physical therapy to heal my back and joints before I was introduced to the team at Dynamic Bracing. No other treatment has come close to giving me the instant relief that this has. If you are on the fence about going, I can assure you you won’t be disappointed. Their office is beautiful, clean, and tastefully decorated, (which I appreciate...it kind of has a spa feel to it). The only regret I have is that I didn’t know about them sooner!

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    Heather Connor
    5/15/2019