No One Wants to Hurt! Preventing and Treating Injury in the Short Term
People are always looking for a quick fix. Whether it’s weight loss, overcoming low back pain, or getting rid of headaches, we all crave immediate results. Quick results motivate us and increase our belief that we can make a change that has value to us.
When it comes to preventing soft tissue injuries at work, we can use quick results to motivate our employees and launch and grow our safety programs. But ultimately, we need to identify and correct the underlying root causes of injury risk. Very few of our employees live pain-free lives. In this blog post, you’ll learn the quick fixes to prevent and treat injuries in the short term. In our next post, we’ll discuss strategies and techniques that prevent pain and injury long-term.
Quick Fix 1: Treat the pain and inflammation.
When an injury occurs on the job or in our personal lives, take immediate steps to relieve pain and inflammation. Ice, elevation, and compression can soothe sprained, twisted, and overworked muscles and joints and reduce swelling. TiPS recommends icing an injury every 2 hours, especially in the first two or three days after the injury occurs. Encourage employees to use tools and alternative movements to stay comfortable while they heal.
Quick Fix 2: Encourage sleep and rest.
Getting enough rest is vitally important not only to heal injuries, but to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Our bodies heal themselves while we sleep, so if we don’t get enough of it, we’ll take longer to feel 100% again. Supported sleep positions can encourage healing during sleep. Contact TiPS for more information about neutral supported sleep positions.
Relative rest during the daytime is also vital for healing. Giving injured joints and muscles relative rest during the day is often the hardest part of recovery, especially for overachievers and the invincibles on your team. In addition to the guideline of working within comfort, give these folks a timeline for resting their injured bodies (5 minutes rest every half-hour the first three days, for example, then 5 minutes every hour for the next three days).
Quick Fix 3: Offer outside help.
Some injuries are treatable with ice, time, and good habits. But some injuries require a little outside help to heal completely. Offer your team outside resources to support their treatment. Doing so not only shows you care about your employees, it helps them take ownership and control of their healing.
Quick fixes make us feel better, but they’re just a patch job.
If you have a leaky roof, you put out buckets to catch the drips and mop up the puddles. But these quick fixes don’t address the underlying cause of your problem: a hole in your roof. When you or an employee is in pain, a quick fix to relieve that pain is necessary. But addressing symptoms and not underlying problems can lead to unanticipated costs down the road. Our next blog post will focus on techniques and strategies that will help you prevent injury long-term.
In the meantime, contact TiPS to learn more about short-term versus long-term recovery and build a custom training program for your team.