If you work in manual material handling, you know how physically strenuous it really is. One of the risks involved with this sort of work is not just acute injury, but a chronic or debilitating musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). However, we all get a little sore after exerting ourselves, right? If we start a new exercise regimen, we will experience soreness – so how can you tell if your work-related pain is something you need to nip in the bud?
The unfortunate news is that, really, any pain associated with work tasks is something to pay attention to. However, if you start a new kind of job that wears you out for a week, but then you don’t experience any pain while working, you might have just needed to condition your body for the task. If you experience pain while working and it isn’t a brand new activity, though, it is far better to catch it early than let it go on. Cumulative MSDs can leave you disabled in the end, forcing you to quit your job, and possibly even permanently diminishing your quality of life. Take a look at the three stages of cumulative MSDs:
Stage One: You experience mild discomfort while you’re working, but it disappears when you’re not working. Your work performance and daily tasks are unaffected by the pain. At this stage, the MSD is completely reversible.
Stage Two: The pain is both present while you’re working and also when you’re not working. It starts to affect your other daily tasks. You might start taking over-the-counter medication for pain relief. In most cases, the MSD is still reversible.
Stage Three: Pain is now present at all times. It is significant enough to seek medical attention. You may not be able to complete simple daily tasks. At this point, a full recovery may not be possible. Often times surgery is required to relieve pain, and it may not alleviate all of the pain. The most typical areas affected are the back, neck, shoulders, knees, and wrists.
How long it takes to get from stage two to three depends on the task and the health of the person. However, there is a huge difference between the two stages when it comes to a lifelong burden of pain and dysfunction. It is very dangerous to ignore pain in stage two; once it reaches stage three, you may never be the same again.
Remember: pain is a sign from the body that something is wrong. If you ignore it, you can alter your entire life. These kinds of injuries are completely avoidable, so take work-related pain seriously.
If your pain stems from pushing and pulling tasks, a battery-powered tug may be a simple and effective permanent solution. Tell us about your job and how it’s affecting your body. We can help you figure out whether a Load Mover power tug will eliminate the strain on your muscles so that you can avoid debilitating injury. Call 952-767-1720 or email email@example.com today.