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Work-Related Injuries From Lifting Heavy Objects: How Physical Therapy Can Help

Work-Related Injuries From Lifting Heavy Objects

Need treatment for injuries from lifting heavy objects at work? Access our New York and New Jersey doctor directory by calling (888) 533-0870.

You don’t have to experience a potentially lethal accident to obtain workplace injuries. Simple things like sitting for too long with poor posture or lifting something heavy can cause pain.

If your body tires out from heavy lifting and you injure yourself, you can rely on workers’ compensation. The Workers Comp Doctors team maintains an updated directory of medical professionals in New York and New Jersey. 

If you suffer from work-related injuries, it may be time to consider workers’ comp physical therapy. This article outlines everything you need to know.

How Work-Related Injuries Happen

OSHA standard §1904.5(a) lists the basic requirements for a workplace injury. Such requirements include becoming injured at work or aggravating a pre-existing illness or wounds while working. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that Private employers reported 2.6 million nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries in 2021.

Some of the most common injuries happened due to improper working conditions, habits, or expectations, such as:

  • Poor lighting
  • Handling hazardous materials
  • Strains from repetitive actions and motions
  • Dehydration and heat stress
  • Fatigue
  • Using improper techniques
  • Lifting heavy items

The last two reasons often combine, with over 36% of all injuries in 2001 coming from lifting heavy items improperly. Workplace injuries from lifting heavy objects continue to trend upwards, including:

  • Shoulder and arm sprains
  • Pulled muscles
  • Wrist and elbow injuries
  • Back sprains
  • Spinal injuries

A debilitating spinal injury can leave a person bedridden for weeks, months, or even permanently. Always remember to put safety first, as you only have one body and need to take care of it.

How to Safely Lift a Heavy Object

Although you can’t always predict workplace injuries, you can take several steps to prevent them and protect yourself. For lifting heavy objects, this means following a specific set of steps.

Remember these four steps when picking up heavy materials and equipment at work or home.

1. Prepare

First, know your limits. If something is too heavy for you to pick up, enlist the assistance of others or use a machine. Don’t try to strongarm something and injure yourself doing so.

Ensure the area has no obstacles that could trip you up while you carry the object. In addition, look for spots or places on the item that gives you the best place to grip.

2. Lift

When you lift the object, ensure you use the strength of your legs instead of your back. To do so, squat down with your arms close to your body and keep your back straight. Once you grip the object, stand straight up while holding it and try not to bend forward.

You should be able to use your legs for any upward motion. If you have to strain too much to lift it with your legs, get some help!

3. Carry

Your topside weight increases as you carry the heavy item. Your legs contain a lot of muscles that strain, pull, or rupture with too much force exerted on them. So, be careful against twisting your upper body too much and displacing the weight.

Instead, if you need to turn, do so with your feet. Keep the heavy load close to your body.

4. Place

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, put the object down the same way you picked it up. Bend your knees instead of your back or at your hips. You should also ensure your feet and toes are out of the way.

Following these steps, among other protective measures, like good lighting and rest breaks, can reduce workplace injuries.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Let’s say you’ve done all you can to avoid getting hurt, but something still happens at work. Then, you should immediately seek medical attention and utilize your workers’ compensation to cover medical bills.

Many treatment plans include medication and physical therapy to help your body regain strength. According to Rasmussen University, doing so can reduce medical expenses by 50 to 72%. It can also help you recover over a shorter period by doing the following:

Reducing Pain and Inflammation

After injuries from lifting heavy objects, you may experience a lot of pain and swelling that decrease your mobility. Physical therapists have several tools to help them reduce your pain naturally with a smaller dose of pain medications. Once they reduce the pain, they can help your body regain mobility and strength with exercises and practice.

Focusing on Work-Related Strength

When you are treated by an expereinced workers’ compensation doctor in New York City, they can design exercises that focus on specific body parts. For example, if you injured your back at work, their treatment plan could help you regain your range of motion and strength. The targeted focus can extend to other parts of your body to help your overall health improve and reduce the risk of injury in the future.

Educating You on Proper Work Techniques

You can sustain a work-related injury without having a physically demanding job. Repetitive motions, like typing, and poor posture, among other causes, can lead to poor health. The therapist can help you discover ways to improve your workspace and prevent future injuries while helping with current ones.

Find a Workers’ Compensation Physical Therapist in New York

Workers' Compensation Physical Therapist in New York

Although employers have an obligation to provide safe working environments, employees can still receive injuries from on-duty activities, especially those that require heavy lifting. 

Fortunately, physical therapists and other specialists listed in our directory accept workers’ compensation, personal injury protection (PIP), and no-fault insurance, among other plans. Same-day appointments may be available. Call Workers Comp Doctors at (888) 533-0870 anytime to find an NYC and New Jersey medical provider.

We help workers find medical professionals for common work injuries, such as injuries from lifting heavy objects. Explore our directory to find the medical help you need for a successful recovery.

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