After an accident, very few people can stay in a protective cocoon of inactivity for long while they heal. They typically need to go back to work or school as quickly as possible.
If there are repetitive movements you perform during a normal day that might aggravate your injury, seeking ergonomic alternatives can help reduce the likelihood of developing long-term or permanent pain.
Work: light office work
If your day job involves computer work and you have suffered an injury in your wrist, elbows, shoulders, or neck, it is critical to make sure you can work in relative comfort while your injury heals.
In too many cases, chronic injuries develop from long-term discomfort in the office without an accident to make the situation even worse. You may be in a similar position for six to eight hours or more, so redesign your office space to maximize your comfort and limit movement of any injured body parts whenever possible.
Using gel pads, swapping to more comfortable keyboards, and even learning to use the opposite, uninjured side of your body to operate a mouse can be helpful. For back and neck injuries, installing an attachment that lets you raise your workstation (so you can work while standing) also helps alleviate pain and discomfort.
Ergonomic chairs can come with a hefty price tag, but sometimes low-tech alternatives like exercise balls can help with back and neck issues if used carefully and safely.
Work: physical activity
While privacy is important, you may need to provide your employer with enough information about your situation to ensure your health and safety when you return to work. You may need to be placed on light duty while you complete physical therapy, or you may need to use new kinds of equipment in order to complete your job.
There are a wide variety of braces and wraps that you can discuss with your doctor. If you aren’t seeing a physical therapist or chiropractor, ask for referrals and talk to your legal team to see if reimbursement for these services will be included in the claim.
If your job involves heavy lifting, there are a variety of techniques, straps, hand trucks, pallets, and winches that you can use to bear the load instead.
Again, discuss the possibility of using braces or wraps with your doctor. To make sure your participation in sports will not aggravate or re-injure your body, you can work with both your school staff, your doctor, and even internet research for simple exercises that can safely and gradually rebuild the muscles around the affected area before getting back in the game.
If you were instructed to use braces or wraps while exercising, understand that doing so faithfully can make all the difference in avoiding the emergence of long-term or permanent pain at the injury site.
If you’ve delegated all you can to people willing to help around the house, but find there’s still more work to do, consider some clever DIY tips for moving objects around the house. Ergonomic shovels can help avoid back and neck discomfort. In some cases, appliances can be raised up to prevent the amount of stooping and lifting that needs to be done during chores.
If you were in an accident that resulted in a joint, back, or neck injury, working with a Toronto personal injury lawyer can help you obtain fair compensation for medical bills and property damage in the aftermath of an accident. But while your case is still open, you should consider whether you’ll need ergonomic equipment as a result of the injury.