There’s no doubt that electrical contracting takes a toll on your body. Aches and pains are de rigueur and it’s easy to push them to the back burner in favor of focusing on work. But your body doesn’t just ache for no reason. Behind every seemingly minor pain or discomfort is a problem, and what’s a minor problem now could spell disaster for your health down the road – with the potential to derail your career.
Instead of ignoring your health now, it pays to take care of problems as they arise.
Why Aches and Pains Happen
Aches and pains are your body’s way of trying to tell you something is wrong. Sometimes they’re from overuse. For example, the ache you feel in your wrists if you’ve spent all day using a screwdriver. Other times, they’re the result of moving your body in a way that it’s not meant to be moved.
For example, if you’re working in a tight crawl space and can’t move your shoulder — but need to add the requisite amount of force to complete a job – your elbow and wrist may be doing the bulk of the work to compensate and you’ll feel it later.
Still, other aches and pains are signals that your body has components that are wearing down – a loss of cartilage or bone wearing on bone, for example, can ache like nothing else. Simply put, listening to your body means not ignoring even minor discomfort and trying to figure out the root cause and best way to treat it.
Self-care and Knowing When to Seek Help
Some occupation-related pains can be treated at home with a little common sense. Using the example of a repetitive stress injury from performing the same motion over and over – if the pain starts after an activity, take a few days to rest the affected area. Ice can alleviate swelling and over the counter pain relievers can minimize discomfort.
Like the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be sure to stretch before working and be mindful of your body’s alignment as you work. Correct your posture or the source of your movements if you can. If you have no choice but to move in an awkward or uncomfortable manner to get the job done, stretch afterward and take care of your body.
If your body’s woes seem to have no obvious cause or you’re unable to complete your work or daily tasks, it’s time to seek the help of a medical professional.
Listen to Your Body
Your body knows what it needs most of the time. If you maintain your overall health, you’re less likely to feel the toll of being an electrician. Make sure you stay hydrated — especially if you’re working in non-climate-controlled areas.
Exercise regularly to prevent some of the strains of the job. Adequate nutrition supports your muscles, joints, and bones, meaning any damage you do on the job is less likely to be a major problem. While you can’t cut out every trace of discomfort from your life, ensuring that you’re in good shape – physically, mentally and emotionally – can prevent a lot of on-the-job issues.
When you treat your body as you should – like the most valuable tool you own – aches and pains are far less likely to interrupt your work day.