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Hebert authors work injury book
DIXFIELD -- Lauren Hebert, DPT, of SmartCare Physical Therapy in Dixfield has been selected by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to author a monograph book on “Work Injury Prevention and Ergonomics.”
The Orthopedics Section of the APTA selected Dr. Hebert to author this monograph as a graduate study guide for physical therapists focusing on workplace musculo-skeletal disorders such as upper extremity overuse tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and lower back problems. The final text is to be finished by this spring.
Approximately every two years the APTA produces a graduate study program targeting an emerging or expanding specialty area for physical therapists. The APTA 2013 program will target “The Injured Worker.”
Lauren was invited to address the role of the physical therapist as a consultant to the workplace on ergonomics and work injury prevention. Their selection was based on his experience as a work injury consultant for more than 500 workplaces nationwide since 1982, as well as courses he has taught at various venues around the US for physical therapists, occupational therapists, and physicians on work-related musculo-skeletal disorders.
Hebert will present methods of evaluating workplace injury risk factors, modifying work design to reduce physical damage, how to design various prevention tactics such as workplace stretching programs and work task rotations, as well as tactics for safely returning injured workers back to the workplace after injury.
There is also attention to the aging worker. The core of the monograph is to examine research evidence to identify what works best for what situation (Evidence-Based Practice). This book is to serve as a guide to expanding the roles of the physical therapist from treating people in the clinic, to leave the clinic and go to the workplace to teach people how to avoid these problems.
The goal is primary prevention, rather than costly injury and treatment. Physical therapists have a unique level of training on how the musculo-skeletal system performs work, how it breaks down, and how to reverse or avoid that damage.
Moving this knowledge base from the clinic to the workplace provides effective techniques for preventing these types of work injuries. Musculo-skeletal disorders represent 60 percent of Worker Compensation costs in the U.S.
Physical therapy prevention programs have led to upwards of 70 percent reductions in these injury claims at client workplaces. Hebert is one of the nation’s first and most experienced practitioners of this physical therapy specialty.
Lauren also teaches a graduate course open to physical therapists in dozens of countries through Educata, a web-based graduate education program based in California, on the topic of workplace injury and ergonomics. He manages SmartCare Physical Therapy in
Dixfield and Turner, as well as IMPACC, a work injury prevention and ergonomics consulting company.