Injuries and conditions can occur from a variety of circumstances, altering an individual’s lifestyle, however, those that occur in the work field can often also be debilitating and impairing, affecting an individual’s work performance. Work related injuries can include bone fractures and muscle strains/sprains to conditions causing degeneration of many structures of the body, such as arthritis. Also referred to as occupational injury, repetitive and constant motions of the hands, arms, shoulders, neck and back, among others, can gradually wear out the tissues, increasing the risk of injury which could eventually lead to further complications. A collection of articles depicts the causes and effects of many work related injuries, carefully describing each variety. For more information, please feel free to contact us at (915) 850-0900 or text to call Dr. Jimenez personally at (915) 540-8444.
Every day construction workers lift, stoop, bend, reach, push, pull, twist, and climb. It’s no wonder that 25% of construction worker injuries are to the back. An estimated 1 in every 100 construction workers misses work because of a back injury with an average of seven missed work days. Many just power through the pain which isn’t healthy and can lead to further injury and pain. Repeated back injury and failure to take care of the back by taking proactive steps to prevent injury, can lead to permanent damage, even disability. That can end a construction worker’s career.
Chiropractic care can help keep the spine healthy so construction workers can stay on the job and be pain-free. Regular treatment can offset the stress that is put on the body each day in this rigorous, physically demanding profession. There are several benefits that a construction worker can gain from seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis.
It helps to maintain mobility
When muscles are stiff and sore, it is natural to try to avoid moving too much. When a person has pulled muscles, or they have a muscle strain, their first instinct is to protect that area. This can lead to stiffness and lack of mobility, especially if the pain is in the back. A painful lower back can make it difficult to move your legs, bend, or even move about normally. Chiropractic helps to relieve the pain and reduce the stiffness so that mobility is restored.
The range of motion is improved
Stiffness can lead to a limited range of motion. If the spine is out of alignment, it can decrease flexibility and significantly limit the joint’s range of motion, whether it’s the back, shoulders, legs, or neck. Chiropractic brings the spine into the correct alignment which improves range of motion.
Workers who perform repetitive motions can experience muscular imbalance. This means that some muscles are tight (the ones being used) and others are not being worked as hard. It can cause pain in the area of the muscle as well as in other parts of the body.
A chiropractor can perform a technique called myofascial release to loosen the tight muscles. At the same time, they will recommend exercises for the muscles that don’t get worked as often so that the body can come back into balance. Muscular imbalance can also cause spinal misalignment so the chiropractor will also do an adjustment to bring the whole body back into balance.
Helps the body heal from injuries
Construction injuries are fairly common on a worksite. Most are fairly minor and tend to be ignored by the person until they are in so much pain they can’t function properly. Back strain is a common ailment among construction workers, and it can put someone out of commission for a week or more.
Chiropractic care helps the body heal faster and more efficiently by focusing on the whole body instead of just the part that hurts. The patient receives the treatments at the chiropractor’s office then goes home with advice on lifestyle changes, supplements, and exercises to facilitate and speed healing.
For anyone in the construction industry, especially if their position is physically demanding, regular chiropractic care just makes sense. It keeps the spine healthy and the body moving as it should. It is a simple, natural, effective way to help the body function correctly – because pain is not normal.
Assembly lines have long been the standard for factory workers. Henry Ford got the ball rolling on December 1, 1913, when he created the very first assembly line to mass produce a car. Workers stood for hours, doing the same tasks over and over. Although Ford took steps to reduce at least some of the damage, many factory workers still went home with aching backs and feet, migraines, fallen arches, and repetitive motion injuries.
Now, more than a hundred year later, some things have changed. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,834,000 assembly line and fabrication jobs in 2014. Technology is better, and some tasks can be automated making some people’s jobs more manageable – and, unfortunately, eliminating some as well.
Despite the great strides in technology, there are still some things that haven’t changed all that much. The working conditions in many factories are often still not as healthy as they could be. Many workers are still required to stand for long periods of time and perform repetitive motions for hours without a break. This can lead to injuries, pain, and certain conditions that can cause immobility, inflexibility, and even disability. The good news is, chiropractic can help.
Working in a Standing Position Can Be Bad For Your Health
Many assembly line jobs require that the worker stand for long periods of time. While standing is a natural posture for humans and, by itself does not pose any real harm or health problem, working in a standing position every day isn’t good for you. It can lead to muscle fatigue, stiff shoulders and neck, swelling of the legs and feet, low back pain, varicose veins, fallen arches, and sore feet – to name a few.
Another problem with standing for extended or frequent periods of time without any breaks (such as walking or stretching) can cause the joints in the feet, knees, hips, and spine to become locked or immobilized temporarily. If the behavior continues, it can cause degenerative damage, leading to rheumatic diseases because the ligaments and tendons become damaged.
Other Assembly Line Related Health Problems
Barring traumatic injury due to an accident, working in a factory environment can cause problems with mobility, pain, and flexibility. The nature of the job places specific demands on the human body that can lead to certain types of injuries and health conditions, which include:
Repetitive motion injury – When a worker performs the same task that involves the same movements over and over, it can lead to certain types of injuries. Carpal tunnel is common repetitive motion injury.
Overexertion – Lifting, pulling, even standing can take a toll on the body, especially when it is done without adequate breaks. The person can get muscle fatigue, pulled muscles, and pulled tendons.
Body movement injuries – When the worker is continuously reaching, twisting, crawling, and bending, it can cause problems with the muscles and joints.
Chiropractic can Help Assembly Line Workers
Chiropractic care can help keep bodies flexible and help with range of motion. It is a very effective, non-invasive treatment for pain and can help with joint and muscular problems as well. Regular chiropractic treatments can help you better manage your body’s response to your work environment. It can also undo many of the ill effects that that type of work can cause.
You can enjoy more pain-free days without invasive surgeries or medications that leave you groggy, nauseous, or worse. When you sit down with your chiropractor, he or she will talk to you about your medical history as well as your current lifestyle. After a complete evaluation, you will be given a plan of action that may include lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and recommended supplements in addition to spinal manipulation. Chiropractic is all about whole body wellness, and that is what will help you perform better on your job and recover faster.
When dealing with a sports injury or a similar type of injury, many people are familiar with the R.I.C.E. protocol for injury care. R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation and has long been used when treating everything from sprained ankles to banged up knees. With acute injury patients, experts recommend adding “P” for protection because of the protection of the area is vital in the healing process. It is crucial that this is implemented as soon after the injury as possible and it should be maintained for anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours afterward. Of course, this depends on the severity of the injury.
P is for Protection: Injuries hurt and pain can be a good thing because it prevents you from further injuring that area. It encourages you to protect it.
It is essential to listen to your body and protect the injured area through full or partial immobilization and restricted use. The way you do this depends on the body part.
An arm or shoulder injury can be protected with the use of a sling. An ankle injury may require a brace or splint, and you may have to avoid or limit weight bearing for a while. This means using crutches a walker, or a cane.
R is for Rest: The body needs rest to heal. This could mean complete rest, but in many cases, it means what is known as “relative rest.” This means that it allows for enough rest to heal but is not entirely restrictive which could slow or inhibit recovery.
This means avoiding activities that are stressful to the area to the point that they cause pain or that they might compromise healing. Many times, though, some movement is a good thing, even beneficial. Some gentle movements can speed recovery.
Isometric contractions of the muscles and joints that surround the injury and even some range of motion exercises can help. The key is to keep the movements gentle and to listen to your body for guidance on how much and how far to push.
I is for Ice:Cryotherapy or cold treatments can come in the form of actual ice, or there can be other types such as a cold soak. When treating acute injuries at home, the best known, and probably most straightforward way is to put some crushed ice in a freezer bag with a zip lock closure and wrap it in a small towel to keep the pack from directly touching the skin.
Frozen vegetables, like green beans, peas, or edamame work well too – remember to use the towel as a barrier between the skin and the pack. You should not use the pack more than 10 to 15 minutes as a time. The recommended cycle is 10 to 15 minutes on and 1 to 2 hours off.
In some cases, you may not be able to apply ice directly to the site. In those cases, you can use the pack at the joint above the affected area. For instance, a tightly wrapped ankle can still benefit from ice, you just apply the ice pack to the back on the knee on the same leg.
C is for Compression: A compression wrap can offer mild support and reduce swelling. Typically, an elastic bandage is used to compress or apply pressure to the injured tissue.
When applying a compression bandage, start it several inches below the area that is injured. It should be applied directly to your skin.
Use some tension as you wrap, but not to the point that it cuts off circulation (characterized by tingling or numbness and the soft tissue should not change color). Wrap the bandage in a figure eight configuration or spiral, depending on the area, stopping a few inches above the injury.
E is for Elevation: When an injured joint or extremity is not elevated, fluid can pool in the area and swelling can occur. This can lead to increased pain and limited range of motion. Elevation helps prevent these things from happening and can even help to speed up recovery.
The key to elevation is positioning the injured area at a level that is above the heart. The most effective way to accomplish this is to keep the area elevated as much as possible while awake and prop it up with pillows while sleeping for at least the first 24 to 48 hours. Some injuries may require more time though, so listen to your body.
If you are considering going upright in your workplace or workspace, you are not alone. Companies large and small are recognizing the benefits of this healthy, spine-friendly way of working and they are incorporating it into their employees’ workstations. It places the body in an optimal position, between standing and sitting to provide an ergonomic solution to working at a desk that saves space too. Even home offices are getting in on the movement. These case studies tell the stories of four companies that incorporated upright workspace technology for their organizations.
Rhode Island-based start-up company, ShapeUp, is a health and technology-centered small business with just employees. It manages the design and implementation of socially activated wellness programs in the workplace. They were looking for furniture that was high quality and sturdy enough to withstand a workforce that was very active. At the same time, it needed to promote good health to remain consistent with the company’s health-oriented ideals.
Their first step moving in that direction was to purchase several community upright workstations. This would allow employees to get upright at various points during the day. The feedback from employees was so great that upright workstations were placed in each employee’s work area. They reported reduced back pain and increased energy, attributing it to the simple act of going upright.
FLUX, based in San Francisco, is a small tech company with fewer than 50 employees. The venture-backed start-up created software that “reimagines sustainable building design.”
In 2012, Nicholas Chim, the company’s founder, began searching for body-friendly workstations that would help keep his energy level up and help him maintain his focus. He purchased an upright station for himself to use in his work area. Many of the employees expressed great interest in this new workstation. Once, Chim came home from a business trip and found that one of the employees had taken over his upright station.
It was then that Chim realized he needed to purchase upright stations for all of his employees if he was going to keep them happy and healthy. He now offers upright workstations to all of his employees; all they have to do is request it.
Katie Rowe Mitchell
Katie Rowe Mitchell has a home office where she runs her start-up, Unfold Yoga + Wellness with her friend and partner Nicole Elipas Doherty. The company brings meditation practices and accessible yoga to organizations as a wellness measure for the companies’ employees. She left a longtime corporate job that left her feeling physically uncomfortable, overstressed, and overworked due, in part, to her sedentary work style.
She recognized the link between yoga and having more energy and better focus so she left her corporate job to start her own company that would bring yoga to be stressed out workers. In her own home office, Katie wanted a more active work style, and an upright workstation was the answer. It keeps her engaged in mind, body, and spirit. She has a newfound sense of freedom that sitting behind a desk for hours every day did not provide. Going upright opened a whole new world for Katie.
Tech non-profit Wikimedia Foundation is based in San Francisco and has 200 employees. It powers several collaboratively edited projects including Wikimedia. When the company decided to redesign their office space, they decided that they wanted to create a work environment that empowered and encouraged employees to work together. They chose a dynamic environment with an open floor plan – and they included several upright stations. These workstations were grouped so that all of the employees would have an opportunity to use the stations at different times. The standing desks also proved to be space saving and took up less room in the work area than traditional desks and chairs.
The workstation is one of the most damaging places you can spend your day when it comes to your spine. Office chairs are not designed to promote good posture or spinal health while desks and computer monitors are notorious for being too low or too high. The result can cause pain in your neck and back, headaches, and a variety of other conditions. A stability ball could be the answer.
However, if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk for an extended period, what can you do? Are you stuck with an achy, stiff neck and back because your workstation doesn’t promote a healthy posture? You don’t have to suffer; you can work healthier and smarter. Using an exercise ball as your chair is a great way to combat the painful and even detrimental effects of the traditional desk and chair.
Stability Ball as an Office Chair
A stability ball, also known as a Swiss ball, exercise ball, or physioball, is a large, inflatable ball used for training. A stability ball helps to increase pillar strength, improve stability and have better balance. It is large, making it high enough that it can easily be used as a desk chair.
At least one company has combined the fitness benefits of a stability ball with some of the convenient features of an office chair (wheels, lumbar support, etc.). Gaiam Balance Ball Chairs are stability balls that are intended to be used as chairs. The ball needs to be inflated before use and may need to be reinflated from time to time. It also has a 300-pound weight capacity. It is a somewhat pricier alternative to the plain stability ball.
How Sitting on a Stability Ball Benefits your Spine
There are at least three outstanding benefits you can enjoy by using a stability ball as your chair. Try it for just 30 days and see the difference for yourself. In that time you will see:
Your core muscles are toned. As you balance on the stability ball, it forces you to engage your core muscles including those in your low back, abdominal, and pelvic floor. It will keep your muscles engaged for extended periods of time but also encourage you to move for little extra core work. This, in turn, will help to keep your spine correctly aligned and stabilized.
Your back pain is relieved. Sitting on your stability ball improves your circulation, encouraging blood flow throughout your body. An office chair, on the other hand, does just the opposite. This is helpful in relieving pain. It keeps your spine aligned which also helps with any back pain you may experience. This is in part to the core strength you develop, but also because you are less likely to slouch or sit in a position that puts a strain on your back.
You have better posture. A better-aligned spine naturally leads to better posture. Sitting on the ball works your core, strengthening those muscles so that your spine is supported, resulting in better posture. You will find that you sit up straighter and over time you will walk taller. Better posture is perfect for your spine, making it more flexible and stronger.
It should be noted that it isn’t healthy to sit in any position for too long. Stand up and move about every hour or so. While the stability ball causes you to change positions throughout the day, you also need full body movement, which includes standing, stretching and walking.
Sitting at a desk for extended periods of time is not healthy and can lead to a host of health problems. As more and more studies show the detriments of prolonged sitting, some companies are taking action to protect their employees’ health by installing upright work stations. These desks take the person from a seated position and move them into one where they are leaning. As a result, most of the workers are enjoying several health benefits.
It Facilitates Healthy Postural Transitions
Simply put, postural transitions are the body movements made when changing positions. There are large movements like going from sitting to standing, standing to leaning, and standing to sitting, but also small movements like adjusting arm placement or moving a foot.
Ergonomists suggest that a person should be making postural transitions several time an hour. They also recommend that people avoid any static position such as standing, sitting, or leaning for an extended period of time, instead advocating a transition or movement every 20 minutes when possible.
Static positioning has been linked to obesity, heart disease, and other health conditions. When the body is positioned in such a way that facilitates healthy movement, the body moves more often and in a more natural way. This is not likely to happen with static positioning, especially prolonged sitting.
It Improves Spine Health
Sitting or standing for long periods of time is not good for the spine. When a person stands or sits without any healthy postural transitions the spine can begin to compact and the discs become hard. This undermines the spines ability to adequately support the body, leading to loss of mobility, decreased flexibility, and pain.
The spine is made up of small bones, vertebrae, which are cushioned by spongy, fluid filled discs. In a healthy spine, the discs are filled with fluid providing a good cushion for the vertebrae as they move and support the body. However, the discs need movement to encourage blood flow so they can continue working as they should. Working upright facilitates those movements, thus decreasing the likelihood of spinal problems.
It Discourages Painful Posture
Standing and sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause pain and certain mobility problems. While they share some pain points, each brings its own problems. A strained neck and stiff, sore shoulders are often associated with sitting and standing, usually due to improper computer monitor placement. Poor leg circulation, tight hips, and lower back pain are also common problems of people who do a lot of standing or sitting on their jobs.
Using an upright workstation moves the body into a more natural, healthier posture that encourages natural, frequent movement. The spine is properly aligned over the hips, the hips are open, and the feet are adequately supported. It promotes posture that is completely contrary to being hunched over a desk – the typical posture for a sitting workstation.
It Keeps Core Muscles Engaged
When in a seated position, the core muscles are mostly lax and rarely engaged. Over time, these muscles can actually be trained to become weak, or lazy and not engage as they should. This means that they stop supporting the back and body which leads to poor posture, loss of balance, lack of mobility, decrease in flexibility, and pain.
Working upright encourages micro movements that engage the core. It’s not like crunches at the gym, but more like an ongoing mini-workout that keeps the core muscles toned and supportive. The results are a healthier spine, fewer gastrointestinal problems, better posture, and improved circulation.
Other health benefits of working upright include a decreased risk of certain cancers like colon cancer and breast cancer, improved circulation, better brain function, and a decreased risk of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Working upright is the most natural position for the body’s best function and health.
Health Benefits: Chiropractic Care Crossfit Rehabilitation
The reason I chose Dr. Jimenez is that he’s very thorough. From the get-go, he diagnoses the problem, diagnoses what he needs to do. I’ve had a couple shoulder injuries, I’ve had some wrist and elbow injuries, back injuries, and Dr. Jimenez has been the only one, like I said, he’s very thorough, he’s got great manners, and he’s nursed me back to health immediately. – Louie Martinez
Similar to athletes who suffer sports injuries, employees can also experience work injuries; simply the circumstances are different. And as with athletes with sports injuries, many employees with work injuries can benefit from chiropractic care. If you’ve suffered a work-related accident which resulted in injury and you require treatment for your specific health issues, a worker’s compensation claim can help pay for the expenses of rehabilitation. However, it’s important to understand the various types of work injuries as well as how a worker’s compensation claim should be filed before receiving treatment. Below, we will discuss how a healthcare professional can help you with your work injury.
Strategies for Payment of Work Injury Treatment
To begin with, the appropriate treatment option, such as chiropractic care, needs to be organized by your treating healthcare professional and the patient’s insurance company should offer approval. If you do not get approval for work injury treatment, do not be alarmed, there are a lot of steps you may take to get the treatment accepted. These essential basic guidelines will be described below, including:
Ask the doctor’s office to file a Form WC-205 requesting acceptance
File a Form WC-PMT for treatment approval
Ask for a hearing in front of a judge to get acceptance
Obtain an worker’s compensation lawyer for faster approval
Common Work Injuries
Serious workplace accidents are much too prevalent and there are a variety of common work injuries which can occur across all occupational sectors. People working in different sorts of jobs face a different range of dangers. By way of instance, an office worker would not have the same risk of suffering burns as a chef in a restaurant would.
What we do understand, however, is that about 144 employees were killed at work between 2015 and 2016 and approximately 621,000 estimated non fatal injuries to workers were reported, equating to an astonishing 4.5 million estimated working days being lost.
The workplace can be a very hazardous place and not only is it the employer’s responsibility to guarantee a safe working environment; every worker also has a responsibility to take care of themselves when they’re on the job. But to be forewarned is to be forearmed, as the saying goes. Here are several of the most common work injuries, where we will also discuss various safe and effective ways to prevent future workplace accidents.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Focusing on the most important dangers within your workplace, particularly the ones with the capability to cause harm, can help prevent work injuries. In many cases, simple measures can readily control risks, for example, ensuring spillages are cleaned up immediately so people don’t slip or making sure cabinet drawers are kept closed to make sure people do not trip and fall. For most, these are easy, economical and effective measures to ensure your most precious asset, that your work force is protected.
Strained muscles are just another frequent work-related injury, as anyone who frequently lifts hefty things at work will likely know already. Neck and back strains, specifically, are all too often sustained while working. These injuries can be prevented easily, some basic training on proper lifting techniques can make a tremendous difference. The use of specialized equipment as well as safety tools and gear can also help prevent muscle strains.
Being Hit By Falling Objects
Falling or flying objects in the workplace can expose workers to relatively minor injuries, like cuts or abrasions, as well as more severe injuries such as concussions or blindness. Wearing safety gear and equipment in workplace areas where objects can fall or fly out can help prevent these types of injuries. Moreover, ensuring that your own equipment is secured and wont’ fall or fly away can help prevent these type of work injuries in the first place.
Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive strain injury, or RSI, is a health issue that’s become increasingly common in the workplace. RSI may be caused by many different tasks, including strong or repetitive activity, or by poor posture. The condition mostly affects parts of the upper body, such as the hands, writs, forearm, elbow, neck and shoulders. The cumulative effect of RSI can be severe in some cases, so it is logical to take the necessary precautions and avoid overexertion.
Crashes and Collisions
Accidents leading to crash or impact injuries are rather frequent in workplace settings as well. Whether they involve cars, lorries or smaller vehicles like forklift trucks, they could have serious consequences. It’s therefore up to companies to make sure that seatbelts and other safety precautions are in position and in use where appropriate, to prevent these types of workplace injuries.
Cuts and Lacerations
All kinds of office implements may end up leaving a painful cut. From power generators to paper trimmers, it is easy to get hurt on the job. The most common causes of those lacerations consist of poor training, inadequate security procedures and neglecting to wear the appropriate protection. Employers may help prevent such accidents by providing adequate safety equipment and putting the right procedures, such as training.
Inhaling Toxic Fumes
The air in several workplaces contains toxic substances in the kind of dusts, fumes, mists, gases and vapours. While most of us do not work with toxic chemicals, those of us who do, without the proper safety measures, may be at risk of impairment to breathing, skin or eye reactions as well as possibly more severe injuries. Employers must provide employees with the correct workwear, such as fitted face masks and goggles, to avoid dangerous exposure.
Exposure to Loud Noise
Loud noise on the job can lead to hearing damage that is permanent and disabling. This can be hearing loss that is gradual due to exposure to noise over time, but also damage caused by sudden, extremely loud noises. Industrial deafness may also result in significant compensation payouts farther across the line, and its often considered to be very much in companies’ interest to disregard this health issue. Safety measures like ear protection can help to prevent it.
Walking Into Objects
It is probably safe to say we’ve all done this at any point. Maybe you’re chatting absent-mindedly or perhaps you’re feeling a little under the weather, when you suddenly end up on the sharp end of a doorway, wall, table or cabinet. Obviously, these accidents can cause damage. Fortunately, such mishaps can be avoided by approving employees to be vigilant and transferring unnecessary hazards out of the way so people can’t walk into them.
Fights at Work
Simmering workplace stress can bubble under for weeks or perhaps years before spilling over into physical confrontation, or rather one workmate can take another’s opinion on last weekend’s game the incorrect way. Fights in the workplace can, unsurprisingly, lead to some serious work injuries. Effective procedures for dealing with employee grievances can reduce the probability of them being irritable and causing fights at work.
Oftentimes, accidents aren’t only brought on by a small mistake or a simple mishap from a busy employee. Many workplace accidents are tied to employer or employee negligence. Even though there’s no shortage of ways people can injure themselves in the office, we do know there are various procedures employers can set up to prevent workers from coming to some avoidable harm. Training, signage and accessibility to the essential safety equipment can all be a major assistance, with regular risk assessments becoming a necessity within the office, as well as in other workplace settings, to help avoid unnecessary mishaps and work injuries.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Insight
While the workplace is meant to be a safe and professional environment often supplied with protective gear and equipment, work injuries can sometimes occur. A variety of workplace injuries can lead to trauma, damage or injury and can even aggravate a previously existing condition, although some occur more frequently than others. Common work injuries can include, slips, trips and falls, muscle strains, being hit by falling objects, and repetitive strain injury, among others. However, the most important thing for employees to be aware of at any time an accident occurs is that if they are injured on the workplace, they should report the injury immediately to a supervisor.
Chiropractic Care and Workplace Injuries
Individuals who have been injured at work may often have an underlying condition to begin with. Once they’ve suffered a work injury, however, returning to work is a necessity for the individual’s household. A healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor, will produce a treatment plan that is specifically targeted to your own situation. Goals are put up, and your chiropractor can permit you to achieve those aims. This healthcare professional is your trainer in returning to work. Treatment may consist of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, physical therapeutics, stretching, particular exercises, hot and cold therapy, ultrasound, aquatic therapy and joint mobilization. Chiropractic care is an alternative treatment option which focuses on the treatment of a variety of injuries and conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system.
When you have been hurt in the workplace, contact a healthcare professional immediately. Chiropractors are skilled and dedicated to your personal restoration. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Acute Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes for disability and missed days at work worldwide. As a matter of fact, back pain has been attributed as the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience some type of back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
Jesus Rabelo makes a living as an 18 wheeler truck driver at El Paso, TX. After being involved in a crash, Mr. Rabelo suffered from back and shoulder pain that influenced his private life and function, forcing him to need to start all over again. In reference to a highly appreciated recommendation, Jesus Rabelo found Dr. Alex Jimenez, chiropractor in El Paso, TX. Mr. Rabelo describes receiving outstanding service from the team and he highly recommends Dr. Alex Jimenez himself.
18 Wheeler Accident Chiropractic Treatment
In 2013, 54 million individuals sustained injuries from traffic crashes. This led in 1.4 million deaths in 2013, up from 1.1 million deaths in 1990. Automobile accidents can be grouped into various kinds, such as head-on, rear-end, side accidents, and rollovers. Psychological issues may happen because of auto accidents. A variety of injuries and ailments could result in the blunt force injury brought on by a crash, such as whiplash and back pain, among others.
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As El Paso’s Chiropractic Rehabilitation Clinic & Integrated Medicine Center, we passionately are focused treating patients after frustrating injuries and chronic pain syndromes. We focus on improving your ability through flexibility, mobility and agility programs tailored for all age groups and disabilities.
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Opioids and Prescription drug abuse and addiction is a significant problem in the United States. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared it an epidemic.
Researchers estimate that as many as 36 million people worldwide abuse opioids. Estimates in the U.S. alone reached 2.1 million people in 2012. In 2014, six out of ten drug overdose deaths involved an opioid – including prescription opioids for pain relief.
Every day, 78 Americans die from an opioid overdose. As the Opioid drug problem continues to spiral further out of control, claiming more lives, people are looking for safer, drug free ways to relieve their pain. Chiropractic offers such an option.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are prescription medications that are intended for pain relief. They work by diminishing the intensity level of pain signals as they reach the brain. They also affect the areas of the brain that control emotion thereby weakening the perception of the pain as well. There are several very popular medications that are classified as opioids:
Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin)
Morphine (Avinza, Kadian)
The most commonly prescribed opioids are hydrocodone products. They are used to treat pain from injuries, dental work, and typically moderate pain. Milder pain is often treated with codeine but it is also used to treat coughing as well as severe diarrhea. Overall, opioids are used to treat everything from cancer pain to post-op pain to osteoarthritis.
What Are The Dangers Of Opioids?
Opioids have a serious risk of abuse, addiction, and overdose. Even then they are taken as prescribed, opioids can have the following side effects:
Low testosterone levels that result in a diminished sex drive
Increased pain sensitivity
Over time, the body can build up a tolerance to the drug which means that in order to achieve the same relief from pain they must take more of it. Physical dependence is also a concern, usually going hand in hand with tolerance. Once that point is reached the patient will experience symptoms of withdrawal if they stop taking the medication.
If Doctors Are Prescribing Opioids, How Are People becoming Addicted?
In 2013, doctors wrote almost a quarter of a billion prescriptions for opioids. To put that into perspective, that is enough for every adult in the U.S. to have their own bottle of the drug. Doctors prescribe opioids to their patients in an effort to treat pain, but most of the time it is just a band aid. Instead of seeking out the root of the problem and educating their patients on whole body wellness, they prescribe pills that numb the senses, cause unpleasant or even dangerous side effects, and create addictions.
As the patient develops a tolerance for the drug, the doctor increases the prescription. This cycle continues as the patient become more and more dependent upon the drug. They may even experience more pain as the drug increases their pain sensitivity. As patients become addicted, the number of prescription opioid overdose deaths is steadily increasing. The most common drugs involved in these overdose deaths include:
States are putting measures in place to monitor and regulate how doctors prescribe opiates, but when desperate, addicted patients will go to great lengths to obtain the drugs they are addicted to. They will go to different doctors to get additional prescriptions or even find ways to obtain the drug illegally. It is a heartbreaking problem that is completely preventable.
How Is Chiropractic A Safer Alternative To Opioids?
Chiropractic is a proven method for managing pain relief that is not only effective but safe and drug free. Numerous chiropractic studies confirm what chiropractic patients have been saying for decades: chiropractic care is an excellent pain management method. The spinal adjustments bring the body into balance but that is only the beginning of the benefits. Chiropractic focuses on whole body wellness so patients learn how to take proactive steps to treat their condition.
It also seeks to find the root of the problem and begin healing by treating the cause. Through exercise, diet, and lifestyle recommendations in addition to the chiropractic adjustments, patients can get relief from pain caused by injury, surgery, arthritis, and many other conditions. Chiropractic is so much more than a back pain treatment; it is a whole body, whole patient treatment.
These injuries can lead to time lost at work, decrease in production, depression, and temporary (or permanent) disability. These injuries can be caused by slip and fall, vehicle collisions, electrocution, struck by hazards, and caught in or between accidents. However, work related injury can also be caused by sitting at a desk or hunched over a computer for extended periods of time. Chiropractic has been shown to help workers who have been injured on the job, so they can return to work faster.
Common Occupational Injuries
Occupational injuries are vast and varied with a host of causes and many different symptoms. They can range from minor annoyances to significant damage that can lead to temporary or permanent disability. Some may require surgery while others require extended physical therapy, braces, and intensive medical treatments.
Thoracic outlet syndrome – This injury is caused by flexing the shoulder, carrying loads on your shoulders, and extending your arms above shoulder height for a prolonged period of time. It is marked by swelling, pain, dull ache, weakness, or a burning sensation in the affected area.
Elbow tendonitis (Epicondylitis) – This injury is caused by forceful or repeated forearm rotation while simultaneously bending the wrist. It is marked by swelling, dull ache, pain, burning, and weakness in the affected area.
Carpal tunnel syndrome – This injury can be caused by several things including vibratory tools, repetitive motion, and secondary factors. It is marked by numbness, pain, tingling, wasting of muscles at the thumb base, and burning.
DeQuervain’s disease – This injury is caused by forceful gripping and repetitive hand twisting. It is marked by pain at the thumb base.
Tendonitis/tenosynovitis – This injury is caused by sustained hyperextension of the knee, repetitive motion, and prolonged load overuse. It is marked by numbness, pain, and swelling in the hands.
Back and neck pain – This injury can have a wide variety of causes from repetitive motion to accident to improper equipment. It is the most common work related injury.
Preventing Workplace Injuries
While a few work related injuries are unavoidable, many can be prevented with a little extra attention and care. The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following practices to reduce the risk of a workplace injury.
Get regular exercise. This helps prevent back injuries by keeping your body strong, fit, and flexible.
If you do desk work, get a chair that fits you. This means that there should be two inches between the backs of your knees and the front edge of the seat. Your knees should be level with your hips or slightly below, never higher.
When doing computer work, use a foot rest for support and keep your knees between a 90 degree and 120-degree angle.
If your job requires you to sit for extended periods of time, take breaks at least every two hours to walk and stretch.
When you lift something heavy or awkward, don’t bend over to do it. Bend at your knees and hips, squatting as you pick up the object and let your legs do the work and keeping the object close to your body while your back remains straight. Do not let your body twist while you are trying to lift.
Of course, you should also follow all recommended and required safety guidelines for your workstation and place of employment.
Chiropractic For Workplace Injuries
Chiropractic care can help speed your recovery, improve your posture, and restore your mobility and strength. Through various chiropractic techniques, many of the occupational injuries listed here can be effectively treated. Chiropractic is a proven method for managing pain for the back and neck, but it has also been proven to be very beneficial for conditions like carpal tunnel, elbow tendonitis, and knee injuries.
Chiropractic’s whole body approach helps injured workers not only manage their pain and help heal their injury through adjustments, it can also help with soft tissue rehabilitation and other noninvasive therapies that improve range of motion. In short, chiropractic can help workers get back to work faster so less time is lost from work and the financial impact is greatly decreased.
Injury Medical Clinic: Accident Treatment & Recovery
Ergonomics in the work place. Back pain is one of the most frequent work-related injuries and is often brought on by ordinary work activities like sitting in an office chair or heavy lifting. the study of the workplace as it relates to the worker – helps prevent back pain and back injury and help maintain a healthy back.
The objective of an ergonomics program in business is to adapt the workplace to a specific worker, determined by the job description, required tasks, and physical make up of the employee performing these tasks.
Non-accidental injury, where pain occurs as a result of normal activities and needs of the task. This might occur from sitting in an office chair or standing for too long in one position.
Accidental injury results when an unexpected event triggers injury during the task. A load that changes as it is being lifted, and fall and a slip or hitting one’s head on a cabinet door or slips are typical examples. These injuries can jolt other joints, back, and the neck with consequent muscle strain or tearing of soft tissue at the back.
Occupations which are physically demanding and require repetitive lifting (such as in nursing or heavy industry) are at greatest risk for both non-accidental and accidental spine injury. For instance, a number of health workers have problems because patients are of weight and different stature with needs. Often, the patients need help changing position, rising from a chair and walking. Similarly, the physical effort needed to release a trapped individual or save a life is unpredictable. The same problems occur in the building industry where consistencies of tasks are a challenge.
Office Chair Back Injuries
Individuals who sit most of the day, like those working in a computer while sitting in an office chair, are also at high risk for non-accidental spine injury. Office ergonomics, or computer ergonomics, can help minimize the risk such as the dangers associated with prolonged sitting in an office chair, and carpal tunnel syndrome, such as lower back pain, neck strain, and leg pain.
Office Chair: Ergonomics To Reduce Back Pain?
This guide summarize the use of ergonomic concepts, mechanical apparatus and decent body mechanics (biomechanics) that can contribute to reducing back injuries in the work environment for several jobs. Significantly, staying strong, physically fit and flexible improves the probability of preventing back injuries.
There are certain basic ergonomic tips which may help an employee avoid back pain or back injury:
Develop a job description based on the forces within a particular work environment, the time spent performing the task and the biomechanics (which define human moves and seated posture in an office chair) used in the task.
Use body posture as a tool which may be changed to fit the job demands with minimal stress on the muscles, ligaments, bones and joints.
Learn and use proper body mechanics to restrict extra mechanical stress in completing the job.
Maintain fitness and flexibility and create a reserve of strength.
Identifying Poor Posture And Risks
Many potentially harmful situations that lead to back injury can be identified and avoided by following four basic rules of thumb:
Prolonged static posture is your enemy. The healthy body can only tolerate staying in one position for around 20 minutes. That is sitting at a movie theatre, in a desk in an office chair, or on an airplane becomes uncomfortable after a short time. Standing in one area, such as standing on a floor at an assembly line tends to cause back pain. Holding the same position gradually reduces elasticity in the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the back). Stress builds up and causes discomfort and/or leg discomfort back.
The remedy is simple. Whether you are sitting in an office chair or standing in a line, change positions frequently. Just move. Stand or sit, stretch, have a short walk. After returning to the standing or sitting posture, use an alternate posture for only a couple minutes and some.
Frequent or repetitive stretching to the end range of motion or embarrassing, angled positions can liquefy the joints. Unlike jobs that need seating in an office chair, jobs that require motion can cause discomfort. Such tasks involve lifting overhead lifting from the floor, moving loads, or utilizing force or twisting while managing material and which signal back injuries might be on the way.
Heavy loads offer greater risk. It is important to have the proper tools or get help if the job requires moving objects.
Fatigue from sitting in an office chair, from work or from insomnia can make people move more awkwardly. If one is overtired or feels fatigued, it is advisable to avoid lifting heavy objects alone or quickly.
These ergonomic rules of thumb will help the worker and their backs. Otherwise the worker is at risk of sustaining or aggravating a back injury.
El Paso, TX. Chiropractor Dr. Alex Jimenez examines patients that go through chiropractic vs. traditional medical care.
Because back pain is such a common problem, a group of Canadian researchers recently investigated the role that the type of primary caregiver has on financial compensation.
This was a large study of 5,511 patients who experienced a work-related back injury in Ontario, Canada.
Patients Saw The Following Providers For Their First Visit:
85.3% saw a medical doctor
11.4% saw a chiropractor
3.2% saw a physical therapist
A Comparison Of The Duration Of Financial Compensation For Back Pain Among Patients From Each Group
The study found that chiropractic patients had the shortest amount of time receiving compensation for their pain and also were less likely to have a recurrence.
In addition, chiropractic patients didn’t need to see other healthcare providers for their pain. 75% of chiropractic patients saw no other provider, while 58.6% of physical therapy patients also saw a medical doctor.
The authors conclude:
“The type of healthcare provider first visited for back pain is a determinant of the duration of financial compensation during the first 5 months. Chiropractic patients experience the shortest duration of compensation, and physiotherapy patients experience the longest.”
Blanchette M, Rivard M, Dionne CE, et al. Association between the type of first healthcare provider and the duration of financial compensation for occupational back pain. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 2016 Sep 17.
N.L. chiropractors’ association says workers also get back on the job faster
The Newfoundland & Labrador Chiropractic Association
Seeing A Chiropractor First After A Workplace Injury Gets Workers Back On The Job Faster
Dr. Darrell Wade, CEO of the association, said the September 2016 study analyzed data from more than 5,500 injured workers in Ontario.
“What it found was that the initial provider of care for back pain was a very strong determinant of the duration of financial compensation for at least the first five months of the claim,” he told CBC Radio’s On the Go.
The study, published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, found that workers who saw a chiropractor first, rather than a physician or a physiotherapist, needed full compensation for a shorter time.
“What they found was that people who had seen a chiropractor first had seen about a 20 per cent less cost in these claims over those who visited their family physician,” he said.
The study involved more than 5,000 injured workers in Ontario, comparing time lost depending on which health care professional they saw first. (CBC)
A majority of workplace injuries are related to joints and muscles, making chiropractors a logical choice for the first visit, said Wade.
“Getting to the person who is most adequately equipped to treat your injury in the first place is what really accounts for the reductions in lost time from work and compensation costs,” he said.
In the study, done by researchers at the University of Montreal, just 11 per cent of the workers saw a chiropractor first, and Wade says that percentage would be less in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“It does speak to a great potential for improvement in our system, were we to use chiropractors more as the front line for musculoskeletal injuries, in particular, back pain,” he said.
“All too often these patients are not getting to us until three months after an injury and at that point the chance of success decreases significantly.”
Texas has some of the nation’s most affordable workers’ compensation coverage, according to a 2016 study, which found that the Lone Star State had the 10th lowest rates among all states.
The study by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services ranks all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on premium rates that were in effect January 1, 2016. Texas, with premiums at $1.45 per $100 of payroll, ranked No. 10, four spots higher than the previous study in 2014.
“It’s great to see evidence of the progress we’ve made in affordability,” said Texas Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation Ryan Brannan. “Lower injury rates, better return-to-work outcomes for injured employees, and reduced medical costs per claim are a big factor, but the results of the Oregon study are also proof that we’re becoming more efficient, proactive, and transparent.”
Texas Workers’ Compensation Rates
Texas’ workers’ compensation premium rates are about 21 percent lower than the median for all states, according to the study. California has the most expensive rates in the nation, at $3.24 per $100 of payroll. Rates in Texas are also favorable compared with other high-population states, such as Florida, Illinois, and New York. North Dakota had the least expensive rates, at 89 cents per $100 of payroll.
“The Texas workers’ compensation system has been a model for other states in many ways,” Brannan said. “And we’re going to keep improving. We’re working on several efforts to keep our costs low. We’re cutting data storage costs by digitizing records, reducing prescription drug costs with a closed formulary, and eliminating waste and fraud with a new in-house fraud unit. We’ve also launched a statewide effort to streamline the dispute resolution process.”
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Additional Topics: Preventing Work Disability with Chiropractic
After being involved in an unfortunate accident at work, injuries and aggravated conditions resulting from the incident can often lead to a variety of painful symptoms and complications, if left untreated, along with missed days at work and lost wages. A new research study showed that workers who received regular chiropractic care experienced less work-related injuries.
Injured workers in Texas have better access to physicians who can treat them more quickly than they did 15 years ago, according to a September 2016 study by the Texas Department of Insurance’s Research and Evaluation Group (REG). The study found 84 percent of injured workers received initial care in seven days or less in 2015, compared to 76 percent in 2000.
“That’s significant because improved timeliness means workers have a much better chance of getting back to work, and the cost for their care will be much lower,” said Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Ryan Brannan.
Effective Workers’ Compensation System
The study measures the effectiveness of the workers’ compensation system to deliver timely and appropriate medical care to injured employees. It found that injured workers who aren’t treated within seven days have an average of about 40 percent more in medical costs over the first six months of an injury. In 2015, about half of injured workers saw a physician in one day or less. The average wait was 4.5 days.
“In terms of timeliness, when REG’s results are compared to the NCCI study of 35 states, Texas appears to be among the faster states.” Brannan said. “We have ongoing recruiting efforts to increase physician participation, and any issues with physician access are primarily due to a low number of physicians practicing in specific areas, not a low rate of physicians treating workers’ compensation patients in Texas.”
The number of physicians in Texas who treated injured workers increased 6 percent from 2000 to 2015. During that same period, there was an 11 percent drop in the number of workers’ compensation claims filed.
The decrease in claims also means injured workers in most of the state have options when searching for a physician.
In 2000, each physician who participated in workers’ compensation treated an average of 21 patients. By 2015, that figure had dropped to 15, a decrease of 26 percent.
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Additional Topics: Preventing Work Disability with Chiropractic
After being involved in an unfortunate accident at work, injuries and aggravated conditions resulting from the incident can often lead to a variety of painful symptoms and complications, if left untreated, along with missed days at work and lost wages. A new research study showed that workers who received regular chiropractic care experienced less work-related injuries.