How Skilled Trade Workers Can Overcome Osteoarthritis

January 02, 2020

Whether you are a carpenter, welder, machinist or one of the many other skilled workers out there, you probably experience the same aches and pains. You also might write them off as part of “getting old” and choose to ignore.

However, there is a much better option than ignoring the pain. Physical therapy can help reduce the pain and, in most cases, eliminate it completely.

Osteoarthritis Is A Common Cause

Women and men working in skilled trade jobs can experience pain due to osteoarthritis, which is the overuse of muscle groups. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cushioning between your bones wears away, causing the bones to rub together and create irritation. The most commonly affected areas are ankles, knees and hands. 

Symptoms usually appear as stiffness or pain in the morning, which improves after you start moving around. Or, it comes in the form of pain at the end of a day spent climbing a ladder, squatting to work near the ground or just being on your feet for long periods of time.

Strengthening Your Joints’ Supportive Structures

Osteoarthritis is not something you should “just deal with.” In fact, you can get help with managing the condition. For example, stretching and strengthening the muscles around the problem joint can provide pain relief.

You might say to yourself, “I work hard every day. I am already strong.” We are not talking about being strong enough to perform your job. Rather, we are talking about strengthening your joints’ supportive structures to add stability and decrease irritation inside and around the joint. 

Modifying How You Work

Another aspect of your treatment is educating you about changing the way your job is performed to better protect your body. Using proper body mechanics and modifying the way you perform your work can reduce the amount of stress you place on your body.

For more information on work injuries or to make an appointment with one of our physicians or physical therapists, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422), request an appointment online or contact us via live chat.

Charlie Eberling, PT, DPT, TPI, is the site manager of Good Shepherd Physical Therapy in Fogelsville. He specializes in neck, back and shoulder injuries, joint replacements, orthopedic conditions, sports-related injuries and work injuries/work conditioning.