Automotive mechanics are working overtime this summer of 2020 as people all over the city, province, and country are taking road trips instead of flights for vacation. While this may result in big business it also leads to big pains for hardworking mechanics, as their bodies are being tasked unlike ever before. While the right working form along with application of safety equipment and gear can help prevent injury there is one additional step these professionals should take to keep injuries out of the garage – physical therapy. If you’re a mechanic, keep reading.
Why Automotive Repair Professionals Should Make Physical Therapy a Part of Their Normal Health & Wellness Regime
Mechanics Experience a Distinct Set of Injuries That Must be Addressed (before it’s too late)
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) lists a wide number of on-site hazards to automotive repair professionals. These range anywhere from burns from battery acid to those others that come from exposure to chemicals, gasoline, solvents, solder, and other items found in the workspace. However, many highly impactful physical problems are less obvious but rear their heads in gearheads overtime. These include the pains and/or injuries from awkward positioning, performing repetitive manual tasks, and lifting heavy objects. As a result, mechanics exhibit work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) which are a group of painful and debilitating disorders of muscles, tendons, and nerves. They include tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, tension neck syndrome, lower back pain, and even carpal tunnel syndrome (not just an office job problem).
Early stage symptoms include aching and fatigue in an affected limb, which occurs during the shift but typically dissipates at night and during days away from the garage. Intermediate stage symptoms also include aching and tiredness but these occur early in the shift and persist at night and come with a reduced capacity for repetitive work – a big issue for mechanics. Late stage symptoms include aching, fatigue, and weakness but these persist even when at-rest and can not only lead to work stoppage, they often result in an inability to sleep and to perform light duties at home.
While not every mechanic will experience these stages in the same manner, it’s important for you to note that the first experience of pain is a signal that your muscles and tendons need to rest and recover. If left unattended the underlying injury can lead to chronic pain and if not addressed it may become irreversible. While we encourage you to seek help from a physical therapist as soon as you recognize symptoms, it’s far better to take a proactive step and consult with a physiotherapist before that even happens. A physiotherapist will be able to nip potential of injury (or further aggravation of an injury) in the bud and ensure that you’ll be prepared to perform your duties without cause for concern.
If your garage is located in the Greater Vancouver BC area please do schedule a consultation at our Burnaby clinic. Call 604.558.2273 today.