What is ergonomics?
Merriam-Webster defines ergonomics as:
: a science that deals with designing and arranging things so that people can use them easily and safely
: the parts or qualities of something’s design that make it easy to use
Having proper ergonomics in the workplace prevents musculoskeletal disorders, prevent injury and improve quality and productivity thus happy healthy workers and a low turnover rate.
For the MTs and PTs and those who use their bodies at their work tools need to focus on proper posture.
“According to 2006 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shared by Mohr, more than half of injuries suffered by massage therapists were sprains/strains, and more than half of injury sources were from worker motion/position. Additionally, more than half of injuries were to the upper extremities, including the hand and wrist.”
As a Massage Therapist you must keep in mind the four keys to body mechanics.
Table height: as a massage therapist the height of your table is important to give adequate pressure as well as your safety regarding your stance.
Stance: your stance is the one thing that will keep you working, your feet need to be a solid foundation for your whole self. Your body needs to be stacked up so you are sturdy, which drives your force:
Force: your force should be more of a body “lean” than a muscled “push”.
Stroke: Edward Mohr, LMT Nationally Certified by the Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork since 2006, explains a massage therapist’s stroke to be an uphill stroke, once you get over the hill you lose your mechanical advantage, then you will need to put more effort into your stroke to maintain pressure.
As a therapist and a patient I have noticed great improvement in my posture at work thanks to the strengthening exercises and the fact that learning and having better posture feels better so when I start to relax into bad posture I notice it pretty quickly. If you ever notice your massage therapist changing up their positioning, it is probably for your benefit and ours. The better positioning that we have while performing trigger point therapy, the more productive the treatment will be. The better table height, stance, force and stroke – the better the trigger point massage.
I believe if anyone is feeling even a little bit of discomfort in their posture, call OSR today in order to get a complimentary consultation at 488-5555. In most cases people come in for something that was uncomfortable but realize just HOW much pain they were in and they were unwilling to admit it to themselves. Here in Kailua our integrated health center is here to help.