When most people talk about worker health in the construction industry, they are usually referring to accidents that can happen suddenly. According to CapitalNewYork.com, New York City has seen a 34 percent increase in construction accident injuries from 2014 to 2015. But what about the degenerative conditions that occur over time? These types of ligament injuries can cause a tremendous amount of chronic pain that could make work almost impossible.
Construction workers need to educate themselves on conditions that cause chronic pain, and what they can do to prevent those injuries. Years of ignoring these types of conditions can sneak up on you one day and suddenly force you to decide whether or not you can continue to work. To prevent that, you need to be educated on the most common degenerative conditions and what can be done to prevent them.
Three Degenerative Injuries Not To Ignore
The Connecticut Department of Public Health defines tendonitis as the result of persistent damage to the tendons in the body. The tendons are the fibers that hold the muscles to the skeleton, and normal wear and tear is something the body can handle. But construction workers tend to push their bodies to the limit, and tendonitis can soon make simple movements too painful.
The best way to handle tendonitis is to take regular vacations and relax on your time off. If you give your body time to heal, then it can. If you continue to push your body too much, then the results can cause pain for the rest of your life.
2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you work in construction, then the chances are very good that you or someone you know has carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is the part of your body where the nerves go from the arm to your hand. When you overwork that area, the tendons get inflamed and crush the nerves that travel along the carpal tunnel. This leads to severe pain in the wrist and hand, and can even lead to numbness.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs most commonly in workers who do a lot of caulking, hammering, or any work that requires them to support their own arm at a certain position without any assistance. You can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by taking breaks throughout the day and giving your tendons some rest. If you tell your doctor about the onset of pain as soon as it occurs, then there may be steps your doctor can take to slow down the condition, or even stop it.
3. Raynaud’s Syndrome
Raynaud’s syndrome is a condition that occurs after years of using vibrating tools such as hand saws and drills. As the condition settles in, your hands will start to tingle and the skin on your hands will turn a lighter color. Over time, you will begin to lose sensation in your fingers until they are no longer able to be used effectively.
Since Raynaud’s syndrome occurs as the result of the normal activities of a construction worker, it is difficult to recommend ways to prevent it. If you utilize power tools as part of your job, then it would be to your benefit to try other tasks every so often and reduce the strain on your fingers, hands, and arms.
Education Is Important For Injury Prevention
Chronic pain from degenerative conditions is one of the many dangers of construction work. Some companies offer safety courses on worker health that address these potential issues, and offer suggestions for preventing them from occurring. Over time, persistent ligament injuries and tendon damage can take away your ability to work. That is why it is in your best interests to get educated on the ways that you can preserve your health after years of working in construction.