In light of this pandemic we affectionally (not) call COVID19, safe distancing of greater than 6 feet, (it really needs to be 13 feet), poses many problems for injury prevention in the work place.  Early interventions that include OHSA approved massage is one large factor.  Physical Performance Solutions data continually demonstrates that utilizing first aid massage at the early onset of stiffness, fatigue, soreness, does in fact dramatically mitigate the risk factors for:

  1. Musculoskeletal Injuries
  2. Accidents at work
  3. Decreased Quality of work performed
  4. Decreased and inconsistent production
  5. Unhappy customers
  6. Accidents outside of work
Overly repetitive motions or Static Postures reek havoc on your soft tissue systems!

Any organization’s front line of offense with their mission, vision, sales of products are their employees.  Employees do not realize the danger of soft tissue injuries until the symptoms begin.  By that time the internal tissue adhesions have been developing and expanding for some time. 

How much time we really do not know.  The fact remains, sore, fatigued, and employees working with a degree of pain will not be your best employee for the simple reason they are more focused their soreness and symptoms than the job task at hand.  Then the question becomes what is the ratio of work to home blame on their symptoms?  By the time an employee spends money and the company health insurance to see a doctor, a lot of soft tissue compression, cellular hypoxia, aberrant muscle firing patterns, abnormal movement patterns, and high torque forces on joints and tendons have been in existence for a long time.  At this point your front line of offense is becoming defenseless!

The aforementioned list at the beginning of this informational paper is a small one, for there are a multitude of cascading effects when employees are sore with soft tissue adhesions, old injury scar tissue and the like.   There can be in place, now, measures that can allow for close contact and also mitigate the risk of contracting COVID19 without having to be tested.  For, actually, if you were tested today, found to be negative, and then went to the food store, what is there to say you cannot become infected then?  There is no guarantee with  a negative COVID test that you will not contract it the next day!  Yet, maintain social distancing, the new buzz word is not acceptable in many professions.  Especially in the workplace.

With this in mind, it now becomes what methods to use to be able to continue early interventions, onsite physical therapy, work station analyses with Semg, and movement retraining?   Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use disposable massage waterproof table covers for each client
    • Costly yes, but the risk reduction is worth it!
  • Use of nitrile gloves.  At least 6mm or thicker for the person performing the massage, work station analysis or movement retraining.  The thickness allows for the use of a Clorox mixture that will destroy anything, yet that will not destroy the gloves quickly and thereby protecting the hands after touching clients or other materials.
  • Masks:  this is a big one, since N95 masks are difficult to come by.  There are N99 and others that can be purchased and worn by the clinician.  For the client or employee several dense material that can be made at home can be sufficient.  For when the clinician is fully protected, they will not spread any virus/bacteria to the client. 
  • Continued use of hand washing. We suggest 30 – 50 seconds due to the more time spent in rubbing hands, the greater the friction that also causes break down of the virus/bacteria.  This is followed by excellent rising and thorough drying of the hands.  Residual wetness can still  harbor bacteria or viruses, so ensure that your hands are COMPLETELY dry.

So, do not forget your employees – your first line of offense!  Practice early intervention with the proper sickness prevention techniques and your organization will sore to new heights!