Treating the Industrial Athlete

From Medicine Business Industry
July 14, 2023 by
MedGeo Ventures, Lindsay Thomas
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We know that athletes come in all shapes and sizes. In the past couple of decades, however, we have come to understand that physical demands on the body can be just as stressful in the workplace as on the court or field. We now define a particular segment of the labor population as Industrial Athletes – those front-line employees whose demanding and often repetitive physical work takes a significant toll on muscles and tendons and can result in injury. Injuries caused by repetitive stress or trauma.

In the field of Occupational Medicine, treating the Industrial Athlete is understanding the nature of the job, the physiology behind repetitive movement and the daily strain on the body. The idea is to treat this population as thoroughly and carefully as you would a competitive athlete. As athletes seek ‘return to play’ as quickly and safely as possible, industrial athletes seek return to work in the same manner.

Early intervention is critical to early return to work as well as mitigating the psychosocial complications of living with a workplace injury. It’s not uncommon for our livelihood to be tied to identity and the inability to perform in our job can cause a loss of dignity or compromise self-esteem. Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to engaging the occupational medicine patient in a return-to-work plan, treatment compliance, return to pre-injury function, and a restored sense of self-efficacy.

As players are considered invaluable to their teams, so are Industrial Athletes mission-critical to the success of their employers. Our treatment goals are therefore very similar: restoring a patient's prior level of function so they can once again perform at their peak potential.

This article is provided by MBI

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