If you think you may be suffering from a lower limb disorder (LLD) that may be caused or aggravated by your work, there are things you can do to help yourself and assist your employer in helping you.
The symptoms you should be particularly aware of are:
If you experience either of these symptoms, you should seek medical advice because some lower limb injuries, if recognised early, can be treated with minimal medical intervention, while others may require surgery (i.e. meniscal tears). Conditions like osteoarthritis may require regular clinical intervention.
It is important that you report any symptoms as soon as possible because help could be available and early intervention often prevents further damage. By reporting symptoms early, your employer can assess whether there is a problem and may want to observe your job. Other workers may be experiencing similar problems and, unless you tell someone, the problem may not be realised.
Once your employer knows about problems in the workplace they should be able to do something to reduce the risk of it getting worse.
Adaptations may need to be made, for example to the tools/equipment you use or the way your work is organised. These changes may be permanent and apply to a group of workers, or temporary and specific to you as an individual when dealing with a current problem or recovering from your symptoms.
Your employer may be able to refer you to an occupational health service provider for some medical help. An occupational health service provider will:
If your workplace does not have access to this type of support, you should see your GP to explain your symptoms and the type of work that you do. Although they may or may not be able to diagnose your condition, they can provide some help and advice or may refer you to a specialist health professional – especially if some form of clinical intervention is required.