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Wyoming Physical Therapy Experts Explain Common Injuries Teachers Face and How to Avoid Them

September 23, 2020

Teachers are notoriously hard workers. They spend most of their days corralling kids, helping them learn, making sure they’re safe, and putting their health on the line every day they go into work. Though germs are the most common hazard teachers face, repetitive-use injuries happen all too often. Worse, they can happen to anyone of any age, even if you’re in otherwise excellent health. Though physical therapy services can help you recover more quickly, it’s always best if you can avoid the injuries in the first place. Here are a few key problems to watch for.

Carpal Tunnel

When you spend hours each day writing, typing, and working with your hands, carpal tunnel is always a possibility. While minor cases can resolve themselves with enough rest, more severe instances require surgery and intense physical therapy. If you start to feel like you’re developing carpal tunnel, take a moment to see how you’re holding your pen or typing at your computer. If you’re straining your wrists and muscles, take a step back and stretch. Then, do what you can to keep your wrists in a neutral position. If you spend hours at the computer, consider investing in a wrist rest or an ergonomic keyboard and mouse setup to reduce the strain your wrists will be under throughout the day.

Low Back Pain

Standing is believed to be healthier than sitting for extended periods and, in most cases, it is. However, that doesn’t mean standing all day long doesn’t have its own health risks. The most common problem teachers end up facing is chronic low back pain. When you’re standing for hours on end, it’s normal to feel a little ache in your back, but when it starts lasting for days, pay attention to how you’re standing. Bend your knees slightly to take the strain off of your back. Try to walk around every few minutes while you’re teaching to keep your back loose. You may also want to invest in different shoes with proper orthotic supports to further reduce the strain on your back.

Knee Pain

Knee pain is almost as common as low back pain and potentially more problematic. It interferes with your ability to move around and be as active as your students need you to be. Unfortunately, knee pain has many causes but the most common one seems to be frequent bending, kneeling, or squatting. If you’re dealing with knee pain, the best thing you can do is work with a physical therapist to help strengthen your muscles to support those movements naturally. 

Get Help Quickly

As a teacher, you want to be there for your students. You can be as long as you don’t neglect your health. The best thing you can do is work with an experienced physical therapist. They’ll identify the types of movements that are causing your pain and show you ways to avoid making those same movements in ways that leave you hurting at the end of the day. Contact your closest location to schedule a consultation.