Knee Injuries in the Workplace
Injuries can happen in any work environment. You could fall off a ladder, drop a tool on your foot, trip over a computer cord, or slam your finger in a drawer. All of these are examples of acute injuries, which occur from a single, sudden, specific incident. No one is safe from these potential injuries, since they can happen at any time in any office or job site.
However, there are also many vocations which can cause knee injuries related to overuse. An overuse injury is one that arises over time, often from repeating the same task or motion.
Knee overuse injuries include:
Bursitis – Inflammation of the sacs of fluid that surround the knee joint.
Tendinitis/Tendinosis – Small tears or inflammation of the knee tendons.
Plica Syndrome – Thickening of the medial Plica through the formation of scar tissue, usually related to previous injury.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome – Pain in the front of the knee.
Iliotibial band syndrome – Tight and inflamed TI band.
Osteoarthritis – Wearing down of the joint cartilage.
Multiple studies have been conducted to determine what behaviors cause overuse injuries on the knee joint in the workplace. Researchers found that risk of knee osteoarthritis was significantly increased with the following on-the-job behaviors:
- Squatting for 30+ minutes a day
- Kneeling for 30+ minutes a day
- Climbing 10+ flights of stairs a day
- Heavy Lifting
Some occupations (like athletes and trainers) as well as certain hobbies are obviously at a higher risk for overuse injuries. Other may seem less likely, such as:
- Warehouse Technicians
- Construction Workers/City Workers
- House keepers
- Home Repairmen
- Carpet Installers
If your profession requires you to put stress on your knees, be sure to keep overuse injuries in check by maintaining joint health and paying attention to your body.
Stretch and keep your supporting leg muscles strong. Regularly rest, ice, and elevate your knees at the end of the work-day. Most importantly, never ignore or try to work through your knee pain.
If you’re experiencing knee pain related to overuse, give us a call at (503) 719-6783 or schedule a comprehensive knee evaluation with one of our physicians today.