Teaching is considered one of the most reputed professions in the world, ensuring a mindset of happiness, fulfilment, and satisfaction. Teachers play a pivotal role in making the minds, illuminating the souls, and shaping the future of our youth. As well as this, they are the sources of spreading knowledge, inspiration, and guidance. However, behind the scenes of this noble profession and the thought of satisfaction and fulfilment, there are hidden several challenges, faced by pedagogues, making them susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries. This article is a detailed account of the common causes, bringing teachers to higher risks of musculoskeletal injuries. At the same time, we have also discussed the potential preventive measures, helping you reduce the chances of musculoskeletal injuries during teaching, and assisting you in having a healthy teaching session. So, let’s begin our discussion here:
Musculoskeletal injuries experienced by teachers
Due to regularly involved in long hours of standing during their lecturers, prolonged sitting during checking papers or online conferences or e-classes, and other actions, you may experience the following injuries:
1. Back pain during teaching
Back pain is one of the most prevalent issues complained by teachers. The issue can not only disturb your performance level. But, it may also affect your overall well-being instead. There are several factors contributing to the development of back pain while teaching. For example, long hours of standing on feet can cause strain on the muscles and joints of the lower back. Poor posture while working on digital screens or whiteboards can cause slouching, contributing to back pain. Any other actions, like lifting heavy study materials while standing for lectures may also contribute to lower back strain, causing back pain.
How to prevent the risks of back pain?
Maintaining a good posture while standing for long hours of lectures is the basic preventive measure to avoid the chances of back pain. You must also take regular breaks to avoid standing for a prolonged time. When necessary, you should also wear back support braces or posture correctors to reduce the risks of straining your back muscles and joints.
2. Neck pain during teaching
After back pain, neck pain is considered another main issue faced by teachers who are regularly involved in turning their heads to write on the board or addressing students. Such movements or actions can cause strain on the neck muscles or joints, causing pain and other discomforts. As well as this, excessive use of digital screens requires spending more time looking down at screens, leading to tech-neck, causing pain or injury to the cervical spine.
How to prevent the risks of neck pain?
Maintaining a healthy posture of your neck or back is strongly recommended during writing on boards or spending more time in front of screens. Experts suggest taking regular breaks to reduce the chances of straining the muscles of the neck. If you feel pain, or already suffering from any neck injury, you should consider wearing neck support braces. Wearing neck support braces can help limit neck movements, or keep it in a straight position, helping reduce the chances of neck straining.
3. Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
Repetitive strain injury, or RSI can be one of the challenging or persistent issues among teachers. Sustained postures and repetitive motions are the most common causes associated with repetitive strain injury. Other factors contributing to the development of repetitive strain injury may include frequent writing, excessive use of computers, repetitive gestures, and protracted sitting.
How to prevent the risks of RSI?
Avoiding overusing your body or taking regular breaks during lectures is the key prevention to avoid the risks of RSI. Other preventive measures revealed by experts may include arranging an ergonomic workspace, using proper equipment (like a mouse and keyboard), and regularly performing stretching exercises. If you are susceptible to getting RSI, you should consider wearing safety or supporting products, like wrist support braces. Wearing wrist support braces helps reduce the chances of muscle straining in the wrist. They are also best at keeping the wrist position aligned and straight, avoiding putting excessive pressure on the wrist joint or median nerve.
4. Shoulder and arm injuries
Teachers are required to overextend their arms or shoulders while writing on the boards. As well as this, they need to perform the repetitive movements of the shoulder and arms throughout their sessions or lectures. This overuse of shoulders and arms can cause pain and other discomforts. Moreover, having a bad or poor posture during lectures is another factor, that causes shoulder and arm pain.
How to prevent the risks of shoulder and arm injuries?
Maintaining a good posture and avoiding overuse or overextension of shoulders and arms are the primary measures to prevent the risks of shoulder and arm injuries. Try to maintain an ergonomic workspace. For example, ensure that the board is according to your height and you can easily write and stare at the board. Whenever you feel pain and other symptoms that may halt your activities, you should wear support garments. Wearing shoulder support braces or arm support braces and sleeves helps keep the joints in normal or straight positions, helping avoid overextension. Consequently, there are fewer chances of experiencing pain and any other discomfort.
5. Circulation problem in the lower extremity
Circulation problems in the lower extremities can be caused due to several reasons during lectures. The main cause of circulation problems is prolonged sitting and standing in one position without any movement. This may cause poor blood circulation, leading to serious conditions, such as deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and peripheral artery disease. As well as this, sitting in such a posture that can restrict blood flow may also cause circulation-related injuries.
How to prevent the risks of circulation problems?
Keeping your legs in movement is the key measure to prevent the chances of poor blood flow. You must also ensure that you are sitting in a posture that will not restrict the blood flow. If you are experiencing any circulation problems or previously had any condition, you should consider wearing compression socks. Wearing compression socks helps boost blood circulation in the lower legs, helping reduce the risks of a blood clot and any other circulation-related problems. Other preventive measures may include, stretching exercises, wearing comfortable footwear, and staying hydrated.
The Final Statement
Indeed teaching is a noble profession, ensuring satisfaction and a feeling of fulfilment. However, being involved in long hours of lectures and other duties without taking rest and breaks may lead to serious musculoskeletal injuries. It is advisable to follow the above-discussed preventive measures to avoid the chances of injuries, ensuring a wonderful and healthy teaching experience. When necessary, you must also consult your healthcare professionals to diagnose problems at their early stages, avoiding serious ailments.