Artros, specialist in ergonomie en fysieke belasting

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In the past we have spend a lot of time and money trying to decrease the load of work. The purpose of this reduction was to reduce the physical injuries that cause time away from work and worker’s disability. These efforts have not led to the major decrease we might have expected if the cause had truly been found in the load of work. The reason for this is that the main cause for mechanical strain and the resulting muscular skeletal disorders/over-use injuries (physical injuries) lies predominantly in the way material is handled, in the basic postures that are maintained and in the way mechanical stresses are dealt with.

The cause for physical injuries lies in the musculoskeletal dysfunction of the human body at work, at rest or while performing ADL.

A human being is as strong as his/her weakest link and every ergonomic aid is as good as the user who uses it. This means that it is not the load itself but the way the load is tolerated by the human body that is crucial for the fact if physical injuries have the potential to develop. When physical injuries occur, frequently only the local factors are evaluated in current diagnostics and treatment modalities. However this is an inefficient path to “treat” the problem that has occurred. Only the assessment of the total physical load tolerance of an individual can bring the cause of the problem to the surface.   And because of the fact that in the last 30-40 years workload has been diminished for our workers and our younger generation is less physically active than 1-2 generations ago, their load tolerance is decreasing. In other words accidents are waiting to happen.

Statement
93% of the causes of physical injuries do not lie in the local factors (e.g.  HNP; Capsulitis; Tendinitis; Bursitis; LBP; Plantar fasciitis; Meniscal tears; etc.) in the human body and have nothing to do with the load requirements of the work itself. The causes of Physical Injuries are to be related back to the components of muscular strength, endurance, stability and posture of the worker as a whole functioning unit. 

Case Study
A 59 year old brick layer presents with tennis elbow symptoms in his non-dominant arm. Traditional diagnostics by healthcare professionals (Orthopedic Surgeon, Physical Therapist) have lead to 6 months of treatment, medication, rest and TIME AWAY FROM WORK. None of these modalities have been effective in reducing pain or improving function of the arm.

Just before the surgeon will inject the tendon of the m. extensor Carpi radialis longus, Artros Healthfocus is asked to assess the injury. Through a thorough functional assessment (HealthMoves™©) of the injury and the specific load tolerance of the upper body, it is evaluated that several components are not sufficient and have not been addressed in the previous period of treatment.

In a one-time session the brick layer is educated in the cause of his injury, he receives the postural tools to lower the load on the elbow for recuperation and is instructed how to improve the load tolerance of his upper body. This results in the immediate reduction of pain and improvement of function. Within 3 days he was back to work and further treatment has not been necessary. He was able to put the instruction and training into action and regained control over function.

Cost analysis
During the first six months the direct costs of time away from work were €18.000,00.  The total loss of production cost was €38.000,00. If HealthMoves™© had been initiated right away, the cost could have been reduced by 98%.

History shows that in case all the prevention tools of HealthMoves™© are initiated, time away from work can company-wide/nation-wide be reduced by 53%.

Artros Healthfocus has developed this unique evaluation/assessment tool. A tool to map the load tolerance of an individual specified to his/her daily tasks. This way the (potential) factors that cause Physical Injuries will become clear to the individual and adjustments to the physical load tolerance can be made with specified training programs. It is this unique mapping of individual load tolerance in relation to the demands of the tasks that will protect the worker for Physical Injuries, now and in the future.

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