When it comes to the management of pain and injury we can learn a lot from our past! This week I would like to dive into the history a little bit and break down some of the most common injuries for us here in New Brunswick. We will look into where they happen, how they happen, whom they happen to, and what happens next if you are injured.
So, where do we hurt? The most common injuries in New Brunswick come as a result of falls or as a result of motor vehicle accidents and include strains, sprains, cuts, concussions, and fractures. In New Brunswick, there are several factors that make us more or less likely to be injured, some of which may come as a surprise! Firstly is our gender, historically, New Brunswick males have a higher incidence of injury than females, and this trend stays true throughout the rest of the world. You may also be surprised to learn that socioeconomic status ($$) is correlated to incidence of injury, with the highest rate of injury occurring in the least affluent neighborhoods. Less surprising is that the incidence of injury is very closely related to age, with our youth (those aged 12-19) being the most frequently injured and our seniors (aged 65+) being injured the least. Of the injuries that occur, about one-third of them (29%) occur during leisure activities or sport and approximately 18% happening in the workplace.
One in twelve New Brunswickers reports having an injury within the past year that limited their ability to participate in their activities of daily life, one half of which sought medical attention within 48 hours of their injury. Our injury rate is actually higher than the Canadian national average, and with that comes a significant financial burden; the estimated cost of injury in New Brunswick is almost $500 million annually. While that large number may not seem all that significant to you, that breaks down to over $600 per resident per year from the provincial budget; and guess who pays that? Us. Despite the cost to the system, if you are injured, you need to seek appropriate medical care based on the severity of your injuries, whether that’s the Emergency room for head trauma, or visiting your Physiotherapist or Chiropractor for a muscle strain or joint sprain.
Of all of the above-mentioned injuries that occur in New Brunswick many of them are predictable and preventable. Whether it’s reducing falls risks in our senior populations, adopting safer driving habits, or simply ensuring you have appropriate safety equipment in your leisure activities, we can all play a small role in reducing injury risk and maintaining our well-being. I encourage you to visit the website listed below and learn how you can take some simple steps to reduce risk of injury for you and your loved ones.