3 Common Injuries During COVID-19
By Ehren Allen, DPT/Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist
What are 3 Common Injuries During COVID-19?
Being home all the time makes the likelihood of an injury at home increase. Let’s face it, you finally have time for all those projects you’ve been putting off. But, home projects bring an inherent risk. There are 3 common injuries that can occur while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As one of the grown-ups in the house, I feel the need to conquer the list of house projects that I have simply not had time to do. I have to admit that I am not incredibly handy and I don’t spend much time installing, lifting, or assembling things. I also rarely climb ladders. Lack of experience means lots of opportunities to learn the hard way. Sometimes, these “ learning experiences” bring injuries.
1. Falling off a ladder
Some studies show that Emergency Departments treat approximately 2 million ladder-related injuries per year. The vast majority of ladder injuries DO NOT occur at work. Imagine how those numbers could increase with people having time to finish all those home projects they have been putting off.
A few ways you can decrease your risk of ladder-related injuries are:
- avoid climbing the top several steps of the ladder
- have a spotter hold the base of the ladder
- make sure the base of the ladder is placed on a level and stable surface
- Avoid leaning or reaching too far when on a ladder
- Use the 4 to 1 rule. For every 4 feet of height, move the base of the ladder 1 foot away from the wall.
Ladder injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to catastrophic/life-altering injuries or death. For more information about ladder safety, visit the National Safety Council website. https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/safety-checkup/ladders
2. Slip and Fall Injuries at Home
Slip and Fall injuries can affect people of all ages. Many have kids at home during the shelter at home order. With kids spending more time in the home, the likelihood of toys and clothes being left on the floor can increase fall risk. Stepping on a Lego in the dark or catching a toe on a towel left on the floor can cause anyone to take a spill. Slipping or falling can lead to sprains, strains, and even fractures.
The risk factors are even greater for folks over 65 years old. The risk of fracture after a fall is much higher in the elderly population. Fractures in the elderly can lead to other health issues.
How Can I Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries During COVID-19?
There are some simple ways you can decrease the risk of a slip and fall during COVID-19.
- Keep toys, clothes, items off of the floor.
- Remove computer and charger cords from walkways.
- Pick up throw rugs.
- Use night lights in walking areas at night.
- Wear footwear with traction.
3. Lifting and Bending Injuries at Home
Lifting items that are awkward or heavy can lead to pain and injury. Moving items in a tight space like an attic can present opportunities to injury something. Repetitive lifting and bending can also increase the risk of injury. This is especially true if you are not conditioned for the activity. For example, if you have a sedentary lifestyle and decide to go out in the yard a bag 40 bags of leaves, chances are that you’re probably going to hurt afterward.
Lifting and bending injuries can occur in the low back, neck, knees, shoulders, etc. There are somethings you can do to decrease the risk of injury with bending and lifting.
- Pace yourself- Do not try to do a huge job in one day. Especially if you are not used to the activity.
- Use good body mechanics- Proper positioning can decrease the load and injury risk with home or yard work activity.
- Get help! – Lifting heavy objects alone can lead to injury. Using a 2-person lift technique can allow for better lifting techniques and decrease the risk of injury.
Being at home more has advantages and disadvantages. Be mindful of the risks involved with checking off those to-do lists while you “shelter at home.” Consider the tips to decrease your risk of the 3 common injuries at home during COVID-19. And remember, if you do have an injury, the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute is still here to help!
JOI offers an ASAP Fracture and Injury Service at 3 of our offices. This allows patients to access the top orthopedic care in the area very quickly. JOI also offers Telemedicine visits with our doctors and therapists. This allows you to receive care from JOI, even if you cannot come to our offices.
To schedule an appointment in our offices or with telemedicine, call JOI-2000 or click the link below.