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Laser Therapy

Doug Johnson, a certified athletic trainer and certified laser therapist published the first article of this two-part series in the previous issue. His first article dealt with the use of therapeutic lasers for the management of pain associated with sports-related injuries. In this issue, he is presenting an article about the use of therapeutic lasers for the management of pain associated with industrial and work-related injuries. For many of us with pain relief practices, this type of patient represents a fair percentage of our patient population.

—William J. Kneebone, CRNA, DC, CNC, DIHom, FIAMA, DIACT
Laser Therapy Department Head

A great many of today’s jobs tend to be highly specialized and require advanced technical skills, as well as greater time management skills. With these increased job demands, employees are at greater risk of occupational injury in virtually any employment setting.

JohnsonDouglas Johnson, ATC, CLS

In 2005, there were 135.7 of these injuries and illnesses per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers in private industry. Figure 1 presents injuries and illnesses data for five specific occupations.

More than 4 out of 10 of injuries and illnesses were sprains or strains, most involving overexertion or falls. More than a third of the sprains and strains occurred in the trade, transportation, and utilities industry. Three occupations—in particular, laborers and freight, stock, and material movers; heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; and nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants—accounted for 20 percent of all sprains and strains. These occupations also had the highest numbers of injuries and illnesses, accounting for 17 percent of the total days-away-from-work cases.1

The rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry that required recuperation away from work declined 4 percent in 2005, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor (see Figure 2). There were a total of 1.2 million injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work in 2005, relatively unchanged from 2004. A two percent increase in the number of hours worked in 2005 contributed to the decline in the rate. Median days away from work—a key measure of the severity of the injury or illness—was 7 days for all cases in 2005, as it was in 2004.1

Please refer to the April 2007 issue for the complete text. In the event you need to order a back issue, please click here.

Last updated on: February 22, 2011
First published on: April 1, 2007