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Grin and bear it: massage therapists tend to work through their injuries

Sore feet, aching forearms, and a tight back are typical at the end of the day for massage therapists. In a profession focused on the well-being of other people's bodies, many massage therapists find themselves in need of healing. Massage therapy is a physically demanding profession which can cause injuries, and many injured employees try to work through their pain.

It is known in the massage profession that burnout comes easily. Too often even young therapists find themselves no longer able to work. Although it is normal to feel tired after a week of work, many suffer injuries that go beyond the typical burnout.

It has been shown that 65 percent of massage therapists have cited pain during or following their massage work within the past two years. 64 percent of those in pain sought relief from a medical health professional, while the others found relief in stretching and exchanging massages with coworkers. Although injuries are prevalent in this profession, only 7 percent of those injured file for worker's compensation claims.

Common injuries for massage therapists include:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Tendinitis and tenosynovitis
  • Low back injuries
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Rotator cuff tears

Injuries are severely underreported in the industry. Instead of losing work, many will rely on their knowledge of physical therapy to treat themselves and ask coworkers for help. Many therapists feel like they need to push through the pain in order to maintain clients or due to the demands of their employer.

There are some methods shown to reduce injury such as stretching and proper body mechanics, but ignoring the warnings signs of pain can lead to injuries that last. If you have found yourself unable to work due to an injury it can be beneficial to consider taking a break and filing for a worker's compensation claim.

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Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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