Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the US, expected to grow to over 8 million metro area residents by 2040. So it’s easy to understand why, of all different kinds of jobs out in the Atlanta, GA workforce, there are so many tradesmen’s jobs, such as construction work and tile setting. This type of work requires a large amount of physical exertion on a daily basis, and unfortunately results in some common injuries. Knee, shoulder, and neck injuries are typically experienced by these workers.
Bending and the Knee
Whether you set tiles for a living, install flooring or wire electrical systems, there is no doubt you spend large amounts of time on your knees. This excessive amount of knee-time puts constant strain on them, and over time, leads to overexertion. After years of kneeling, your knees can become weaker, and the likelihood of injury and osteoarthritis of the knee increases. Even standing in one place or moving heavy objects consistently will lead to knee injury. A study on the effects of kneeling, standing, and heavy lifting revealed that osteoarthritis is three times more likely to occur when long-term kneeling or constant heavy lifting is done throughout the day. This study applied mostly to men, but it has also been found that women who stand for long hours experience an increase in osteoarthritis.
Neck and Shoulder Injuries
Many jobs undertaken force us to work in awkward positions, and this causes all kinds of neck and shoulder injuries that can have far reaching consequences. Overhead construction work forces the shoulders to support the arms in an unnatural position. Inflammation of the tendons will occur, and when this is routinely ignored, anything from loss of strength to long-term injury can happen.
Tennis elbow used to be considered an injury reserved for tennis players. The overhand tennis swing involves twisting the wrist, and overuse of this motion creates tears in the tendon. The tears then lead to pain and make it difficult to use the arm. However, any constant work that involves twisting the wrist will invariably cause tennis elbow. Construction workers who constantly use screwdrivers or other hand tools typically experience this condition. Depending on the activity and strain put on the wrist, the severity and length of time tennis elbow lasts can vary from a couple weeks to long-term, possibly requiring surgery.
Even the strongest construction worker relies on the same muscles every day, increasing the chances that injuries to them will occur. If you have a job that requires repetitive movements throughout the day, don’t discount the severity of an injury. And if you’ve suffered an injury at work, consider speaking to a workers’ compensation attorney about whether you would benefit from a workers’ comp claim.