• The Importance of Screenings for Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • September 21, 2017
  • Preventative care can be as important to an individual’s health as curative treatment. Preventative care includes regular checkups, physicals, and health screenings. For individuals with certain conditions in their families or predispositions to certain illnesses, regular screenings for their specific condition is recommended.
    In the workplace, a worker can be injured in many ways. One of the most common ways for workers to be injured are slip and fall accidents, which can result in broken bones, sprains, strains, and muscle damage. These and other injuries to the skeletal and muscular systems, like carpal tunnel syndrome, are known as musculoskeletal disorders. A recent study by Connect Health found that regular screenings for musculoskeletal disorders in workers made their conditions easier to manage, which could be linked to a lower incidence of musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace.
    Components of a Musculoskeletal Disorder Screening
    In the study, 32 workers with physically demanding jobs received pre-screening questionnaires followed by 40-minute full musculoskeletal physiotherapy assessments. In these assessments, the workers received full body evaluations to detect existing musculoskeletal disorders. All but one of the workers finished the assessment without a condition being detected.
    One month later, the workers returned for a follow up appointment, at which 22 percent reported no longer experiencing symptoms of their conditions. Between the initial assessment and the follow up, the workers were asked to make lifestyle changes that included exercise plans, ergonomic changes, and specific manual handling advice.
    After three months, the workers received a final assessment, at which point 59 reported being asymptomatic. At the time of the initial assessment, 11 workers reported being unable to perform their job duties due to a musculoskeletal disorder. At the final assessment, only one reported this. The total number of musculoskeletal disorders reported was reduced by 87 percent.
    Early Detection of Disorders Can Reduce a Worker’s Chance of Being Injured
    When a worker knows which conditions are affecting their body, they can make changes to reduce the chances of these conditions worsening, either through injury or by being left untreated. Changes can include lifting heavy objects differently, taking more frequent rest breaks, and making it a priority to receive regular physical examinations.
    Employers can work musculoskeletal injury prevention into their workplace training and safety practices. Regular screenings can be part of these safety practices. According to the study, the company involved saw a substantial return on its investment in the assessment program.
    A key component of the pilot study was to teach workers how to perform work-related functional exercises and maintain their individual physical fitness levels. Often, how badly an individual is injured in a fall or other type of workplace accident is determined by their fitness level.
    Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at The Law Office of Jeffrey S. Gross Help Injured Workers Pursue the Compensation They Need
    Even with regular screenings and other prevention tools, a worker can still be injured in a workplace accident. When this happens, the worker is entitled to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. To learn more about filing and negotiating a Workers’ Compensation claim, fill out our online form or call 267-589-0090 or 215-512-1500 to schedule your initial consultation with a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at The Law Office of Jeffrey S. Gross. Our office is located in Philadelphia and we serve the Greater Philadelphia area, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.