Every year millions of fatal and nonfatal occupational injuries are recorded around the world. Although this rate has been gradually declining for the last ten years due to more stringent OSHA, health and safety regulations, the number is still significantly high. An occupational or work-related injury can be defined as any physical harm that occurs at or due to the work premises. These injuries can be as severe as death or amputated limbs, and they can be as mild as a mild muscular strain. Nonetheless, in the long run, work-related health and safety hazards can show effects over the years or even decades which can be quite detrimental to a person’s life. According to a study by Bureau of Labor statistics, around 3 percent of all employees have suffered from some sort of occupational or work-related injury during a past few years. In this article, we will describe the most commonly encountered workplace injuries. We then go on to discuss how our products can be used for the treatment of occupational injuries such as those described.
Although anything can happen to a person at work, some injuries are more common than others. Most common types of occupational injuries include musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, such as tendonitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injury, tennis elbow, epicondylitis, neck pain, hand-arm vibration syndrome, overexertion, lower back pain and repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Before we embark on an examination of the use of our products in the treatment of occupational injuries, here are some of the most commonly encountered work-related injuries.
Repetitive strain injury
Repetitive strain injury or (RSI) is a condition which is characterized by pain in nerves, muscles, and tendons which can occur due to using a joint or part of the body repetitively. It can also result from overusing the muscles which can damage the tender tissues and ligaments. Due to its prevalence in the occupational sector, it is also called work-related upper limb disorder, or non-specific upper limb pain. The condition can get worse with time if it is not treated properly.
Upper and lower back pain
There are many possible causes of work-related back pain depending on the kinds of activities that a person is involved in. One of the most common causes of low back pain is poor sitting posture, resulting in excessive pressure being placed on the lower spine. The condition can range from mild to severe, and the pain can be bearable or stabbing. Common causes of back pain include sitting all day at work, using our muscles and moving around repetitively, and lifting heavy weights. The treatment of occupational injuries falling into this category can include the uses of back braces or seat lumbar supports but, increasingly, it can include products like the medical tapes sold on this site.
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome or (HAVS) is a health condition often occurring as a result of work-related injury. The condition is characterized by damage to the hand, arm or fingers due to repetitive or continuous vibrations. It is most prevalent in people who are exposed to heavy vibrating machinery or tools during their work. The hand-arm vibration syndrome can be further classified into three different classes, including musculoskeletal injuries, vascular injuries, and neurological injuries.
Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow
This condition is characterized by inflammation and pain in the muscles and tendons that serve connective purposes on the arm and the elbow. These muscles and tendons specifically function to enjoin the forearm with the elbow. For Golfer’s elbow, the condition is also known as medial epicondylitis in medical terms. The inner (Golfer’s Elbow) or outer (Tennis Elbow) area of the elbow is affected which causes an extending pain towards the forearm. The condition may be mild or severe, and it may be treated easily or require prolonged caring. This painful condition and accompanying inflammation develop due to overuse and overexertion of the muscles of the arm. Kinesiology tape is increasingly used in the treatment of occupational injuries like tennis and golf elbow because it permits the patient to continue his or her regular activities while the tape is worn.
Rotator cuff injury
Another very common type of shoulder injury is the rotator cuff injury. In the Rotator cuff injury, the patient’s condition is caused by repetitive movement of the shoulders, overhead movement, overuse of the shoulder joint and other similar activities. People involved in a variety of occupations are vulnerable to this condition.
Rotator Cuff injuries may be very painful and may result in disability to continue sports for a while. The condition makes it very difficult for the patient to sleep, and they may get up from sleep several times during the night due to the shoulder pain. It’s also difficult to get a comfortable lying position where the shoulder isn’t painful. The pain can be aggravated by moving the shoulder joint in certain angles, and it can be extended towards the rest of the arm. It can also make everyday activities (e.g. combing hair) a challenge for the patient due to the pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel is another common work-related injury which can be characterized by numbness, pain, and tingling sensation along the arm or the hand. The condition can usually get worse with time, which is why it is important that patients with carpal tunnel syndromes are treated immediately. It happens due to the compression of the median nerve. Kinesiology tape can be a useful tool in the treatment of occupational injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The Treatment Of Occupational Injuries Using Our Products
Kinesiology tape is increasingly recognized as an effective approach for the treatment of various musculoskeletal injuries occurring at work. There are a number of different benefits that the tape provides to patients. The primary function of this tape is to alleviate the pain and provide support to the ligaments, tendons, joints, and muscles that are damaged due to an injury. It is considered to be a good post-operative measure to promote healing of the patient and to prevent the patient from getting a secondary injury. By providing support to the injured area, it does not only reduce the pressure and further damage but also alleviate the symptoms such as swelling. As a result, it can effectively help the patients in overcoming the stiffness, speeding up their healing process and increasing the mobility of the injured joint. It can be used for a number of work-related injuries, such as tendonitis, subluxations, muscle strains and sprains. In addition to providing significant support it also ensures that the range of motion is not eliminated completely.
Apart from this, there are two other mechanisms that explain how our products are effective in the treatment of occupational injuries. These mechanisms are neurological as well as physical in nature. The first mechanism is the promotion of the lymphatic system of the patient that lies under the skin. As the tape holds the skin the lymphatic system is activated underneath which can significantly help in the improvement. Moreover, the pressure on the pain receptors and the nerves in the injured area is reduced as the tape lifts the skin, which can alleviate pain, especially in chronic conditions. Apart from that, it is also believed to improve the blood flow in the injured area which effectively speeds up the entire healing process.
According to occupational safety and health administration standards (OSHA), the use of Kinesiology tape is considered to be within the scope of first aid treatment for OSHA recordkeeping purposes. (Section 1904.7(b)(5)(ii)(M)). However, the use of this tape alone is not considered to constitute medical treatment.
Oftentimes the direct results of moderate to severe injuries are swelling and inflammation, which is caused due to the build-up of the blood and other such fluids in the injured area after the injury. When there is severe inflammation, the lymphatic system is burdened and unable to treat the condition completely. Swelling can also put pressure on the vessels of the lymphatic system which can compress them. As a result, the supply of blood and healing nutrients is cut off or drastically reduced in the injured area. This prevents the effective healing of the inflammation. The increased flow of oxygen and nutrients due to the use of Kinesiology tape is essential to the healing of an injured area and understanding its role in the treatment of occupational injuries.
By using the medical tape correctly, the skin can be lifted due to the elastic action of the tape, moving it away from the tissues. This provides enough room for the fluid from the lymphatic system and the fresh nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to flow towards the area of injury which can effectively reduce pain and accelerate the healing process. Using such a tape before going to sleep can be an effective way for safe and self-regulated therapeutic healing. Kinesiology tape used in the treatment of occupational injuries can also prevent muscular contraction, spasms, cramps, and over-stretching.
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