Woman experiencing joint pain at her desk

Is your Job Causing you Physical Pain?

While almost every employee has, at some point, referred to her/his job as “a pain,” in many cases there is a very real link between one’s occupation and one’s painful musculoskeletal disorders. At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our doctors often diagnose and treat patients who are suffering neck, back, joint or muscular pain as a result of their jobs. We’re not talking about work-related accidents here, but rather the injuries caused by long-term stress of various body parts.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) can affect the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, spinal discs, or cartilage. For many people, an underlying malformation, past injury or disease condition is exacerbated by the requirements of employment. For many others, the working conditions themselves are the initial cause of the problem. In addition, most of us are aware that extended sitting without breaks for stretching and other exercise, can also cause physical pain.

How Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine Can Help You Adapt

The chief goal of our doctors is to make our patients more comfortable and better able to move. As physiatrists, we focus on accurate diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment designed to relieve pain and improve function. 

Since most  of our patients aren’t willing or able to switch career paths, we assist them by using a variety of traditional and complementary therapies, including physical therapy, therapeutic injections, acupuncture, PRP and PEMF. We also teach them healthier ways to move and offer ergonomic suggestions for their workplace.

How Work May Cause Injury and Pain

Whether you are a construction worker, nurse, teacher, salesperson, farmer, executive, firefighter, landscaper, or restaurant server, one or more or the following activities during your work day may be causing you physical distress:

  • Lifting or carrying heavy objects
  • Exposure to whole body vibration (e.g. using a jackhammer)
  • Overhead work
  • Work with your neck in chronic flexion position
  • Repetitive tasks, commonly with arms and hands
  • Bending, climbing, reaching, twisting
  • Overexertion (e.g. stretching muscle tissue beyond its normal limits)

Depending on your inborn strengths and weaknesses, your weight and lifestyle, and how physically fit you are, you may be more or less prone to injury and pain. Nonetheless, even employees in excellent physical shape can strain themselves during their daily work routines if they’re not careful. 

Types of Work-Related Injuries Our Doctors Treat on a Daily Basis

Just as severe pain can be the result of a sudden wrong move, it can also occur from remaining in a stressful position for an extended period of time or from repetitive motion. Work-related injuries we see regularly include:   

Sprains — stretching or tearing of ligaments, the fibrous tissue that connects bones to

                  one another

Strains — stretching of tendons, the fibrous tissue that connects bones to muscles 

Low back pain due to herniated discs, sciatica, stress fractures

Pinched nerves — due to bones, muscles, or cartilage putting pressure on nerves

Carpal tunnel syndrome — when the median nerve at the wrist is compressed, resulting in numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle atrophy in the hand and fingers

Knee/hip pain — often caused by heavy lifting or carrying, or by remaining in awkward positions, such as kneeling or crawling

Not only can such injuries worsen if not treated promptly, they can also result in premature osteoarthritis, affecting joints and the tissues that surround them. It is worth noting that arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the U.S. 

Contact Our Experienced Pain Management Doctors

If your job is causing you physical distress, the sooner you get in touch with our dedicated professionals, the sooner you will be accurately diagnosed, properly treated, and re-energized. Our doctors will do more than alleviate your pain. We will get you onto a path to improved health by recommending simple lifestyle and workplace changes. Call our office today.