Category Archives: Industrial Rehab

how to choose the right safety shoes

How To Choose the Right Safety Shoes (Infographic)

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how to choose the right safety shoes

In the market for a new pair of safety shoes? Read this guide to find out everything you need to know about how to choose the right safety shoes for your needs.

Why Wear Safety Shoes?

If you work in a hazardous work environment, then it’s important to protect yourself against injury. In fact, 7% of wounds caused by workplace accidents are foot injuries. Yet, data from the National Safety Council reveals that many workers tend to overlook their feet with only one out of four victims of job-related foot injury wearing any type of safety shoes or boots.

Risks to Feet in the Workplace

There are two main types of foot injury that may occur as a result of a workplace accident:

  1. Slips and falls
  2. Trauma e.g. burns, cuts, punctures and impact

Depending on your workplace, your feet may face a range of different hazards. For example, electricians may be at risk of electric shock or those who work in a foundry may need protection against extreme heat. As such, the type of footwear required will depend on the particular risks associated with your working environment.

Choosing Safety Shoes

Like most shoes, you will need to pay attention to fit, comfort and support. Additionally, you will also want to look at the shoe material and the type of protection offered. Before shopping, always consult your employer for specifications and check if there are any specific safety features that you will need.

Learn More About Safety Shoes

This infographic from Walsh Brothers Shoes looks at the most common foot injuries in the workplace and outlines some of the most common risks to our feet in the workplace. It also goes on to offer advice on how to choose a pair of safety shoes that will give your feet the protection they need at work.

Scroll down to the infographic below to find out more.

how to chose the right safety shoe

 

 

PT News PTandMe

PT News September 2019

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout September 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Written by Spectrum Physical Therapy with three locations in New London County, CT.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a type of injury called a peripheral nerve entrapment. What this means is that it is a condition in which the median nerve gets compressed and irritated as it passes through a structure called the carpal tunnel, located on the palm side of your wrist. The carpal tunnel is formed by the carpal (wrist) bones and connective tissue and protects the median nerve and finger flexor tendons as they pass through the wrist.  Read more

 

2. Tommy John Elbow Ligament Injuries in Football Quarterbacks: Why are there significantly fewer injuries than in baseball pitchers?

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout PA’s Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties. 

Recently Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sustained an ulnar collateral ligament tear and subsequent surgery, ending his football season. Elbow injuries in football players are uncommon with 92% of the injuries being traumatic (contusions and dislocations), (Ortho J Sports Med 2019). Ulnar collateral ligament injuries in football quarterbacks are even more uncommon. Read more

 

Fire fighter workers compensation

3. Firefighter and Active Dad Gets Back to Work and Life 

Written by ARC Physical Therapy+ an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations across Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa

Marcus Winstead is a firefighter, husband, and father who enjoys leading an active lifestyle with his wife and three children.  “I’ve been a firefighter for 13 years”, Marcus explained. “Throughout that time, I’ve been on numerous calls and in very unique and challenging situations. As luck would have it, I was injured during a training exercise. I had two-disc injuries (protrusion and extrusion between L4-L5/L5-S1).” Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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PT News January 2019

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout January 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

neck pain

1. Improving your Bed & Workstation Setup can Help Reduce your Neck Pain
Written by Sport & Spine Physical Therapy with 5 physical therapy locations throughout Southern Wisconsin.

The neck has an incredibly important job to do. It supports the head and allows us to move it in a wide range of directions so that we can better navigate the world around us. But because of how frequently it’s used and its position in the body, the neck is also a very common location for pain, and sometimes all it takes is one bad night’s sleep to ruin your day.  Read more

 

Dry Needling

2. What is Dry Needling and How Does it Work?
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy with 12 physical therapy locations throughout Greater San Antonio.

You may have heard of acupuncture, but have you heard of dry needling? If you’re up for trying new things to help with your physical therapy, keep reading to get more information on dry needling and how it works in physical therapy.  Read more

Work Injury Patient

3. Rehabilitation Program Gets Man Safely Back to Work After Two Different Operations
Written by the physical therapy team at Ability Rehabilitation with locations throughout Greater Orlando and the Tampa Bay Area

Carlos needed two different surgical procedures three years apart to repair a torn rotator cuff and an injured bicep muscle. But he also had a family to support and a paycheck to earn; he didn’t have the luxury of taking an extended leave of absence from work. Read more

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PT News December 2018

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout December, 2018. Featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Shedding Holiday Pounds

1. Shed Those Extra Holiday Pounds
Written by The Jackson Clinics with physical therapy locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The holidays are here once again, with all their edible temptations, and you would like to get into better shape after they have passed. This time you are determined to find an approach that will prevent frustration, keep you motivated and help you achieve your fitness goal.  Read more

 

Snow Shoveling

2. Prevent Low Back Pain While Shoveling Snow
Written by the Therapy Team at Rehab Associates of Central VA with 11 physical therapy locations throughout Central Virginia.

As I was shoveling the snow off my driveway this week, I quickly realized that I needed to adjust my technique or I was going to pay for it later. Injury can result from repetitive movements with a general lack of awareness and variability in movement and may be prevented with some easy steps.  Read more

Fire fighter workers compensation

3. One Fire Captain’s Story: From a Workers’ Comp Injury to a Full Recovery
Written by the Therapy Team at ARC Physical Therapy+ with locations across Kansas, Missouri and Iowa

Bryan Bogue, the Fire Captain with the City of Independence, Missouri Fire Department was on a medical call and needed to lift a heavy bag over a concrete wall. It seemed like a fairly straightforward task until he raised his arms and felt a tendon snap in his elbow. The pain was immediate and severe. Read more

PT can Help

Elf Injuries and How PT Can Help: Part 1 of 3

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Elf Injuries_2016-11_FBsize

It’s that time of year, when we check in on Santa’s helpers to see if they can use some physical therapy. With their heavy lifting and high demand job they’re always experiencing injuries. Our new elf friend Ziggy, is the perfect patient for physical therapy. Let’s see how PT can help Ziggy!

Here’s part of his story…

Ziggy was working late one night in the North Pole. When all of a sudden… he lifted a large toy scooter and fell over on to his back. OUCH!

elf on PT & Me website

Luckily, Santa and his elves have an amazingly good north pole internet provider, and Ziggy was able to go online to the PTandMe website and find great physical therapy clinics in his area.

elf on pt table

Now Ziggy is at one of PT & Me’s physical therapy clinics with one of our trusted therapists to help relieve him of all his back pain. He will be back to making more toys real soon, just in time for the holiday!

See Ziggy’s complete physical therapy experience here!

elf injuries physical therapy PTandMe   Elf on the Shelf Physical Therapy

elf injuries

Special thanks to Action Physical Therapy, in Houston, TX, for accommodating the demanding work schedule of Santa’s elves. Click Here for more information about Action Physical Therapy.

how do falls happen

How Do Falls Happen?

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Statistics show that the majority (60 percent) of falls happen on the same level resulting from slips and trips. The remaining (40 percent) are falls from a height. This document will summarize information on “falls on the same level” (slips and trips). Falls from an elevation, such as falls from ladders, roofs, down stairs or from jumping to a lower level, etc., will discussed in another document since each type of fall requires different features in a fall prevention program.

Slips
Slips happen where there is too little friction or traction between the footwear and the walking surface.
Common causes of slips are:
• Wet or oily surfaces
• Occasional spills
• Weather hazards
• Loose, unanchored rugs or mats, and flooring or other walking surfaces that do not have same degree of traction in all areas

tripping

Trips
Trips happen when your foot collides (strikes, hits) an object causing you to lose the balance and, eventually fall.
Common causes of tripping are:
• Obstructed view
• Poor lighting
• Clutter in your way
• Wrinkled carpeting
• Uncovered cables
• Bottom drawers not being closed, and uneven (steps, thresholds) walking surfaces

Find a physical therapist near me

Click here to see the Fit2Wrk presentation: Slips and Falls in the Workplace

For more information about balance and fall prevention click the links below:


    
How to Stay Active When You Work a Desk Job

How to Stay Active When You Work a Desk Job

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How to Stay Active When You Work a Desk Job

As the years go on, more and more jobs require sitting behind a desk or connecting with your computer screen, for what feels like infinite hours during the work week. It has been determined that desk workers sit for more than 1,000 hours per year due the sedentary lifestyle many businesses and jobs now require. An increase in stress levels, back and hip pain, digestion issues, and poor posture are all examples of health problems employees experience at their desk. In order to eliminate the aches and pains, motivate yourself and your coworkers to to increase their active lifestyle both inside and outside of your work shift! With these helpful tips, you and your colleagues will want to hop out of that desk chair more often!

1. Take Walks Outside
Being static at your desk all day forces your body to not only adjust itself to sitting position, but a restraint to the outside world as well. Taking the time to step away from your desk to take walks outside can increase blood flow and allow your body to shake out any tension or pressure caused by sitting down. As your blood is flowing faster, your energy levels rise. This ultimately helps with alertness and concentration so you’re performing to the best of your ability while working. If your company has some strict guidelines when it comes to leaving the office, boost your activeness by walking a few extra blocks during your daily commute. This will give you several more minutes of exercise before going into work!

2. Participate in Fitness Events
Another fantastic way to motivate yourself and other employees in your workplace is by participating in different fitness events within the community! 5K walks and runs, fitness classes, and many volunteering opportunities all include a good amount of physical activity. Also, they’re a great way for you and your coworkers to not only be active, but to support a charitable cause as well! If there aren’t any fitness related events in your town who can host your work crowd, organize one! Be sure to register your event online to skillfully keep track of your RSVP’s.

3. If Possible, Work at a Standing Desk
This might sound crazy to some, but remaining in a sitting position for numerous hours can be kind of exhausting. Your body might feel fine within the first hour or two of your day, but when the forth and fifth hours hit, pain and pressure become prominent in areas such as your neck, back and shoulders. Worrying about your discomforts at your job can be stressful. To reduce the built up soreness, try working to a standing desk for a while to switch your bodies normal sitting position to lessen those body aches. Standing at a desk can also assist in lowering blood sugar levels, which can be quite valuable to your health!

4. Take the Time to Stretch
Stretching your muscles can relieve a lot of stress placed on the body from sitting for long periods of time. Lengthening your joints can reduce the tightness that you might be feeling throughout the day. During your stretching session, hearing strange cracks or noises is normal. These are actually little “bubbles of nitrogen” that form around your joints that can pop when you extended your muscles.

The improvement of your mental, physical and metabolic health comes with changing your daily routine from consistently inactive to a day full of movement. It is vital to spread awareness about the harmful effects that can come with working a desk job, and how exercise can benefit the way your body feels and make going to work less immovable. Make sure to motivate other desk workers to pursue an active lifestyle to help boost the amount active workplaces!

work hardening

Work Injury Rehabilitation Program: Preparing You For A Safe, Sustained Re-Entry Into the Workforce.

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Work Hardening

Our PT & Me physical therapists are dedicated to assisting the injured worker return to their job safely, with a decreased risk for re-injury. A work hardening program is a highly structured, goal oriented treatment program that improves work related functional abilities, with a skilled approach of graded exercise, activities, and education.

CRITICAL COMPONENTS OF OUR WORK HARDENING PROGRAM

  • Progressive program attended 4-8 hours / day.
  • Excellent patient to therapist ratio with constant supervision by a licensed OT or/and PT.
  • Completion of a musculoskeletal evaluation to identify deficit areas that affect safe performance of essential job functions, and to form the basis of the treatment approach.
  • An exercise program tailored towards improving the flexibility, strength, and endurance required for a successful return to work. At completion of the program, a comprehensive home exercise program will be provided to ensure long term success.
  • Assist the work hardening participant resume appropriate work behaviors including attendance, punctuality, and response to supervision.
  • Performance of graded job simulation activities, so that the participants gain confidence in their ability to return to work, and so they can apply their body mechanics training in a meaningful way.
  • Comprehensive patient education on pacing, stress management, back care, and injury prevention as indicated.
  • Upon Request a physical capacity / work capacity evaluation will be performed at the completion of the work hardening program to objectify the ability of the participant to return to work.
physical therapy work conditioning

What to expect in a Physical Therapy Work Conditioning Program

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physical therapy work conditioning

If you have experienced an injury at your place of work that results in needing rehabilitation, you may be put into a physical therapy work conditioning program.  A work conditioning program focuses on preparing the body to physically be able to complete the tasks required at work. Physical Therapists focus on improving an employees, strength, flexibility, and endurance to the point that they can safely return to the job they were performing before the injury. So what exactly does that look like and what can a patient typically expect in a work conditioning program?

Main Components of a Physical Therapy Work Conditioning Program:

While each program varies, and the exercises and practiced movements will be job specific, there are a few similarities that most physical therapy work conditioning programs provide.  Let’s take a look.

  • 2-4 hour progressive program attended 3-5 days per week
  • Licensed OT/PT supervision
  • Emphasis on job simulation tasks for specific job return
  • Emphasis on prevention of future injury teaching correct body mechanics and safe movement patterns
  • Exercise programming tailored toward improving flexibility, strength, and endurance required for successful return to work. At program completion, a comprehensive home exercise program will be provided to ensure long term success
  • Assist the work conditioning participant to resume appropriate work behaviors including attendance, punctuality, and response to supervision
  • Performance of graded job simulation activities, so the participants gain confidence in their ability to return to work and so they can apply their body mechanical changes in a meaningful way
  • Comprehensive patient education on pacing, stress management back care and injury prevention

The ultimage goal of a physical therapy work conditioning program is to progress the patient towards returning to full or modified duty.  Many times a work conditioning program is partnered with a:

Work Hardening Program:
In a work hardening program patients supervised by licensed physical and occupational therapists, are asked to simulate specific job duties in the clinic. It’s a goal oriented program and may be provided simultaneously with each other. If that is the case then activities typically start first thing in the morning and on alternating days to begin with and then consecutive days to end to build up performance.

Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE’s).
An FCE is a 2-4 hour test that would be given after a work conditioning program had been completed, to give patients and employers analytical data on a patients progress within recovery and the likelihood of an person’s ability to return to their previous job with or without restriction. This information helps employers bring people back to work with positions suitable to their ability levels.
Click here for more information on FCE’s

Work conditioning is an integral part of work injury rehabilitation. It is a great way to ensure that patients can return to work safely, and with a reduced risk of re-injury. Occupational and physical therapists do a great deal to make sure that each patients is valuable participant in the recovery process, and educate through each step of the process.

Safe Lifting Practices for Back Injury Prevention

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Whether at home or at work safe lifting practices can keep your back healthy and safe. Before lifting heavy objects decide how you will lift carry & place the item before you pick it up. Test the weight of the load by moving or tipping it. Figure out if you can break the load down by placing the contents of large containers into a number of smaller ones before moving them. Is the path clear? What is the weight of the load? How much stress will be placed upon your back? Is there traffic, a tripping hazard, a doorway to go through, or a stairway to go up or down? Avoid carrying an object that requires two hands to hold, either up or especially down a flight of stairs. Use the elevator. Plan a rest stop, if needed. Knowing what you’re doing and where you’re going will prevent you from making awkward movements while holding something heavy. Clear a path, and if lifting something with another person, make sure both of you agree on the plan.

KEY STEPS FOR SAFE LIFTING PRACTICES

Establish a Base of Support: Use a wide, balanced stance with one foot in front of the other. Make sure that you have firm footing and that your feet are a shoulders-width apart. This staggered stance gives you the stability of not falling over and being able to secure the load.

Keep Your Eyes Up: Looking slightly upward will help you maintain a better position of the spine. Keeping your eyes focused upwards helps you keep your back straight.

Get a Good Grip: With your palms and make sure you have an adequate hold on the object. Be certain you will be able to maintain a hold on the object without having to adjust your grip later. You can use gloves to help maintain an adequate grip, but don’t rely on gloves because they can desensitize the fingers and make you unable to feel the object.

Lift Gradually with Your Legs: Without using jerky motions. By using your leg strength, your chance of lower back injury is greatly reduced.

Tighten you stomach muscles: As you begin the lift and keep you head and shoulders up.

Pivot – Don’t Twist: Move your feet in the direction of the lift. This will eliminate the need to twist at the waist.

Weight: A lighter load normally means a lesser risk of injury. The weight of the object should be within the capacity of the person to handle safely.

Handling: It is easier to pull or push a load than it is to lift, put down or carry.

Keep the Load Close: Holding a 20lb object with your hands 20 inches from the body creates more compressive force on your low back than holding it 10 inches away. This is because the muscles in your back have to work to counterbalance the weight when it is further from the body. As the compressive force on your low back increases, so does the risk of muscle strains, ligament sprains and damage to the disks in the spine.

Frequency: The more times a load is handled, the more tired the muscles become, making it easier for the person to be injured.

Distance: The farther the load has to be moved, the greater the risk of injury.

Duration (TIME): Where the job involves repetitive movements, reducing the time spent on handling will help to ensure the movements are not causing unnecessary strain.

Forces Applied: Forces should be applied smoothly, evenly and close to the body. Forces exerted should be well within the capacity of the person, and the person should maintain proper posture.

Nature of the Load: Loads that are compact, stable, easy to grip, and capable of being held close to the body are much easier to handle.

Terrain: Rough ground, steep slopes, slippery and uneven floors, stairs and cluttered floors make moving a load awkward and increase the chance for injury.

Environment (Climate & Lighting): If it is too hot, too humid, too cold or the lighting is inadequate, the capacity to work safely is reduced.

Condition of the Workplace: Safe and comfortable working conditions, with adequate space to perform the task, and tools and equipment that are well-maintained, make their job safer.

Age/Gender: Young and old workers alike may be at an increased risk of injury from manual materials handling activities. Ensure abilities of employees are in line with functional job requirements.

Training: Proper training for the specific task is vital to reduce injury.

Team Lifting: If one person cannot lift or move a heavy, large or awkward object safely, organize a team lift. Team lifting reduces the risk of injury, reduces fatigue and makes the task much easier.

Raise/Lower Shelves: The best zone for lifting is between your shoulders and your waist. *Put heavier objects on shelves at waist level, lighter objects on lower or higher shelves.

Avoid Lifting from the Floor: Lifting from the floor can greatly increase your risk of injury for two reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to bring objects close to your body when picking them up from the floor, especially large objects where your knees can get in the way. Secondly, your low back must now support the weights of your upper body as you lean forward, in addition to supporting the weight of the item you are lifting. Lifting the same 20lbs from the floor more than doubles the amount of force on your low back when compared with lifting is from waist height. Even a one pound object lifted from the floor increases you risk of injury if you use a bent over posture.

Get Help When You Need It: Don’t try to lift heavy or awkward loads on your own. Even though the muscles in your upper body may be strong enough to handle the load, the muscles, ligaments and disks in your lower back may be injured because of the additional forces they have to withstand. Get help from a co-worker, and whenever possible, use a cart, hand truck or other mechanical device to move the load for you.

This content was written by Fit2WRK who has partnered with PT and Me to give a comprehensive look into the services physical and occupational therapists provide. For more information on Fit2WRK click here.