How to increase strength and mobility safely
If you’ve ever suffered a painful injury at work, you’re not alone. Injuries occurring at the workplace are more common than you might think, and are not restricted to stuntmen and other daredevils. According to data compiled by Safe Work Australia in 2010, 40% of situations where compensation is paid out to employees involve joint pain or strains of joints.
Experiencing a workplace injury can be extremely frustrating, especially when your recovery period seems interminable. Many times, you might feel like you’re ready to function as you did before only to come to the painful realization that you haven’t quite recovered fully. Allowing sufficient time for rest and recovery is absolutely essential. Other than getting regular exercise involving lots of strengthening and stretching that can toughen the injured area without straining it, there are several rules you should observe when trying to heal.
Manage your movement plan
During your recovery, it is important that you not do anything that can aggravate the injury or strain the injured area. Have a doctor issue a Certificate of Capacity clearly and comprehensively detailing all tasks and movements you should be exempted from doing or that should be restricted upon your return to work.
Take things slowly
It can be immeasurably frustrating to not be able to do things that you were able to do with ease pre-injury. Instead of harping on what you cannot do, focus on what you can do. Remain positive and perform the tasks you can do as best you can. Seek the support of your co-workers for tasks that your injury makes difficult for you to undertake.
Don’t push through the pain
Other than medication that has been prescribed by the doctor responsible for treating your injuries, avoid any other medication including painkillers or multi-medication. Such medication may have strong side effects, particularly in your vulnerable state post-injury, and can affect your reflexes and attention span at a time when your limited mobility makes it most important to stay alert. There are also many natural remedies you can use to treat the remaining pain such as treatments like massage therapy or Osmo Patch to relieve joint pain.
Attend rehabilitation sessions
See a rehabilitation provider or injury management consultant as soon as you can. Rehabilitation or physiotherapy can go a long way towards helping you to regain the mobility you enjoyed before your injury. An expert can also reassess your fitness for employment in your current job and if need be recommend alternative roles. He can also arrange for your return to work in tandem with your doctor.
Work with your employer to reach your recovery goals
Returning to work is not simply a question of waiting for recovery and then resuming work on your usual tasks. It is important that your employer gives you adequate support following your injury. It is thus crucial to ensure that you enter into a thorough discussion with your employer prior to your return to the workplace and carefully delineate the types of duties and the scope of the work you will be able to take on upon your return.
The recovery period after a workplace injury should not simply be thought of as time that needs to be passed as soon as possible. Take active steps to ensure that your recovery is as speedy and smooth as possible, and also to facilitate your transition back to the workplace.
Author Bio: Danniel Jacques holds a B.Med.Sci from UNSW and is passionate about joint health and the benefits and importance of exploring natural alternatives in health care.