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Avoiding Repetitive Strain Injuries in the Kitchen

Avoiding Repetitive Strain Injuries in the Kitchen

Across the nation, thousands of food service workers bustle away at work in kitchens. From restaurants to hospitals, hotels to bakeries, kitchen workers turn out comfort food, works of culinary art, nutritious meals, and delicious treats. What many people don’t realize, however, is how strenuous cooking can be.

Overuse injuries, also known as repetitive strain injuries, can affect all levels of kitchen workers, from dishwashers and busboys to head chefs. When proper body mechanics aren’t used, injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur. Here are some tips to help kitchen workers avoid overuse injuries and continue working without pain:

  • Avoid repetitive wrist motion: Flexing and extending your wrist repetitively can lead to friction and strain on the median nerve. Proper ergonomic equipment and alignment can help keep the wrist in a neutral position, as can wrist braces. An occupational therapist can evaluate your work conditions and develop a personalized solution to protect your joints.
  • Avoid mechanical stress on your palm: Float your wrists over the edges of countertops while working to prevent pressure on your wrists. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough instead of working it out with your hands. Tyr to avoid using tools that push into your palm or wrist.
  • Avoid repetitive, forceful gripping and pinching motions: Use adaptive equipment for opening bottles and jars to prevent additional strain on your hands. When using tools like knives, peelers, and can openers, choose tools with thicker handlers that allow an easier grip without the need to close your hand tightly around the handle.

The best way to avoid overuse injuries is to check in with your physician at the first signs of a problem. If you notice pain, inflammation, stiffness, or soreness that is lingering, schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If you’ve been injured on the job, our Albuquerque workers' compensation attorney can help you, as well.

Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law is prepared to help you with every step of your workers’ compensation claim and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to as an injured worker. Schedule a free consultation with our legal team to learn more.

Contact our firm when you call (505) 219-2176.

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