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Stretching at work to avoid injuries on the job

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Whether you are climbing a rock wall or the corporate ladder, it is important to stretch first. That is the advice from an orthopedic surgeon about how to enhance and maintain your range of motion and reduce the risk of injury on the job.

To help achieve those goals, some companies in North Carolina and elsewhere are hiring professionals to go into offices and help employees stretch. The stretching helps stay workers limber and avoid injuries that can lead to time away from work, workers’ compensation benefits, medical care and even disability.

The orthopedic surgeon says, “It’s always good to stretch in the morning or before you go to bed. But the most important thing isn’t how many times you do it but to establish a routine.”

Dr. Donald Perry said the most common complaint about aging is that people feel stiff and that their range of motion has been reduced.

Perry said that office workers, especially, feel stiff after sitting in a single position for extended periods. So I’ll tell people, before you even try to get up, stretch your legs under the table. It makes a big difference.”

If your employer brings a professional stretcher to the office — of if you go to see one on your own — be cautious. “Obviously, you don’t want to stretch to the point of injury,” the doctor says.

So talk through your stretching needs with your doctor first and then with the professional stretcher.

The CNN article cites research that shows that lower back pain is a leading cause of disability and that stretching can help alleviate the pain.

For workers suffering back injuries or have problems with their neck or shoulders, legs, knees, the pain can often require time away from work for surgery, physical therapy and more.

You can talk over a North Carolina workers’ compensation appeal with a qualified attorney experienced in protecting rights and securing benefits.