Three Past Injuries That Should Cause You To Be Very Careful During A Physical Capacity Evaluation

If you work at a job that requires a lot of physical labor and you get injured, a physical capacity evaluation (such as those offered by Northwest Return To Work) may be performed by a therapist for both liability and diagnostic purposes. While most of the individual activities in the evaluation won't be very hard, the fact that you'll have to do so many activities in quick succession will probably strain your endurance. To reduce the chance that you get sloppy on one exercise and sustain a horrible injury, be extra gentle and careful with the relevant body part if you've ever had one of these three injuries.

Kneecap Dislocation

Kneecap dislocations are mainly caused by suddenly changing directions while running or dancing. The more kneecap dislocations you've had in your life, the less secure the kneecap in question is and the more likely that it will come loose again. Some typical activities in a physical capacity evaluation, such as running on a treadmill, present a heightened risk of a kneecap dislocation.

This is because many tired people exhibit carelessness at the end of a treadmill exercise by turning around and getting off the machine before it fully stops. No matter how many other exercises you have left to do, don't let this particular form of impatience get a hold of you.

Calf Muscle Tear

Calf muscle tears can be caused by anything from breaking into a sprint too quickly to holding an isometric exercise for too long. Since a serious and painful calf muscle tear can only really be addressed by extensive surgery, never go overboard on calf exercises. Like with kneecap dislocations, calf muscles tear more easily when they've already torn once before.

Don't be too timid to ask your physical therapist for a short break so that you can lie on the ground and give your calf muscles a chance to relax completely. When you're doing a staircase climbing exercise, always set your foot directly up against the farthest edge of every stair. This will take some of the pressure away from your calf muscles and put it on your upper leg muscles.

Back Sprain

A back sprain, or a tear in the ligaments in the back holding your bones together, is one of the most dangerous injuries to have in your history because a small back problem can quickly develop into a much larger one. This is especially true if your physical capacity evaluation includes an exercise where you have to carry a weighted backpack around.

For most exercises in the evaluation, try to keep your back either as vertical or as horizontal as you can relative to the ground. Keeping it somewhere in between will prevent any pressure from transferring to other parts of your body.