Maria worked hard as housekeeper at a local hotel. Housekeeping, as it turns out, was not an easy job. She would spend hours on her feet with no breaks as she walked from room to room making sure that everything was perfect for the next guest.
Lifting a heavy vacuum cleaner over and over, scrubbing dozens of tubs, making beds, and crawling around the floor to retrieve any items the previous guest had left behind was all in a day’s work for Maria.
One day while Maria was emptying the trash while cleaning her third room of the day, she felt a terrible pain in the left side of her back. It was so painful she had to stop cleaning the room and call her manager right away.
Maria’s manager had seen this before. She sent Maria straight to the worker’s compensation doctor to have him examine her to find out what was wrong.
As Maria explained what happened to her back, the doctor nodded knowingly. He asked her a few questions and explained that her work as a housekeeper had caused a strain in the muscles of her back. After prescribing some anti-inflammatory medication for Maria he sent her to physical therapy.
Maria was hesitant to go to physical therapy. She didn’t understand how going to physical therapy was going to help the pain in her back and she didn’t want to take the time out of work to go to a clinic for exercises. Her job already kept her moving and exercises all day anyway.
Eventually, Maria did set up the appointment for an examination with the physical therapist the doctor had recommended. Once she entered the clinic and met the physical therapist, she knew she was in good hands and this was going to help her tremendously.
Maria was not alone in her experience of a worker injury. Despite the improvements of work place safety, thousands of people are injured on the job each year resulting in the inability to perform their jobs or sometimes even to work at all.
Physical therapy is crucial to helping people work safer. Physical therapists can help companies identify safety hazards, educate employees on how to perform work safely and, as in the case of Maria, help individuals who have suffered from work injuries to return to work as quickly as possible.
Through her physical therapy sessions, Maria learned a lot about her body. She learned that she wasn’t doing her job in a way that protected her back. She was surprised to discover that the simple act of picking towels up from a floor could have contributed to her back strain because she does it so frequently and was apparently doing it incorrectly for so many years.
She also learned that she could change all of these habits that had put her at risk of injury and that she could avoid future problems. Maria was able to return to work with not only a significant reduction of back pain, but the knowledge of how to make subtle changes in the performance of her job so that she could continue to do the work she loved for many years to come.
How can physical therapy help you to do your job more safely, to avoid workplace injuries, and to ensure that you will be able to work comfortably for the rest of your career? Whether you are an accountant or construction worker, your work environment may be a threat to the longevity of your career.
You don’t have to wait until you suffer an injury like Maria. Schedule an appointment today at 352-243-9341 to speak with a physical therapist if you are concerned about your safety at work. Learning how to use your body most efficiently and safely is the best thing you will ever do for you career.