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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(509) 325-9144

  • Dynamic bracing offers not only physical theraphy, but also strain/counterstrain for chronic pain. I have tried lots of different things, but strain/counterstrain gives me the most relief from pain. Awesome, caring, skilled therapists

    Carol Marley Avatar
    Carol Marley
    5/28/2019

    If in fact you have a fall, accident or other problem
    THIS IS THE PLACE TO GET HELP. I found Andrea Baker, Arch & Jesse to be excellent in their work & the ultimate professionals at all times. Strain and counterstrain technique was new to me. This treatment was very effective, they also gave me physical therapy exercises to do at home which helped the process of recovery. I would highly recommend this office for Physical Therapy. The environment was bright and cheerful & clean. Everyone made working on recovery a real good experience. Thank you for your help.

    Rae Baker Avatar
    Rae Baker
    5/27/2019

    Since treatments I've had reduced pain and have been able to sleep through the night. Andrea and Becky provided treatments but the entire staff is professional and caring. I can move better and have put off surgery for the time being.

    Russelle Mazulo Avatar
    Russelle Mazulo
    5/28/2019
  • 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!

    Heather Connor Avatar
    Heather Connor
    5/15/2019

    Always courteous and friendly people. The staff has worked with me on various injuries - knee, hip, foot and low back. Because of their partnership, I remain very active and am getting stronger every day. A healing atmosphere with a fun vibe.

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    nicolette brant
    5/28/2019

    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