First Responder Injuries

There are a range of physically demanding occupations that require strength, speed and agility. Firefighters, police officers, military personnel, rescue teams and tactical athletes are prone to a variety of injuries that require expert care. At Henry Ford Health, we offer the treatments you need to get back on the job safely.

First responder injury causes

As a first responder, you make split-second decisions to help keep others safe — without thinking about your own injury risk. You may jump, fall, climb, move fast and carry heavy loads, all of which can lead to a range of acute injuries. You may also experience fractures, sprains or head injuries while on the job.

First responders and tactical athletes are also prone to overuse injuries. But there’s no off-season from your job. You may work long shifts with little rest. If you’re new on the job, or have just entered the military, you might start doing too much physical activity too soon, without the proper conditioning.

Emergency response teams or military personnel can experience psychological trauma due to experiences on the job. Behavioral health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can have a profound effect on their personal and professional lives.

First responder injuries we treat

Our sports medicine specialists care for a range of work-related injuries, including:

First responder injury treatment

We use a variety of techniques to help you heal from occupational injuries, including:

  • Advanced biomechanics: Two biomechanics labs allow us to get real-time feedback and analysis of your body movements. Gait analysis and 3D motion capture help measure range of motion, strength and force. We use this information to help prevent re-injury and improve performance.
  • Agility training: The speedzone® system assesses speed, agility and endurance. This tool helps you regain hand-eye coordination and improve reaction timing as you recover from an injury.
  • Integrative medicine: Sports medicine specialists can connect you with treatments such as massage, acupuncture, dry needling and chiropractic care to enhance your rehabilitation. Many of these services are available right at our Center for Athletic Medicine.
  • Task-specific training: We get to know the details and physical demands of your job so that we can create a highly customized treatment plan. This might include carrying heavy weights or simulating movements, such as hose pulling and axe swinging.

Sometimes certain injuries, such as complex fractures or soft tissue tears, require surgery. Our orthopedic surgeons specialize in the latest procedures, using minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. We help you heal as quickly as possible so you can return to your job.

First responder injury prevention

Our experts recommend these strategies for preventing job-related injuries:

  • Strengthen muscle groups that you don’t normally use at your job.
  • Focus on improving core strength to support your joints and back.
  • Build up strength and endurance gradually before starting intense physical activity.
  • Take rest periods to prevent mild injuries from becoming serious.
  • Use the right protective equipment for your job.

First responder injury care: Why choose Henry Ford?

Our highly skilled sports medicine specialists offer:

  • Collaborative care: Our team includes sports medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons and certified athletic trainers. We work closely with radiologists, physical therapists and other providers to coordinate a seamless care plan tailored to your needs.
  • Minimally invasive treatment options: From Tenex procedures to treat Achilles and Patellar tendons to plasma-rich protein (PRP) injections to treat knee injuries there are options available to reduce procedure time, hasten recovery and increase potential for improved outcomes.
  • National certification: Some of our providers are Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitators® (TSAC-F®), certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). You receive care from experts who understand the intense physical demands and risks of your job.
  • Convenient access: Most providers can see you within 24 to 48 hours, so you receive prompt care for your injury. We offer in-person and virtual appointments. Henry Ford also features walk-in orthopedic clinics with extended evening hours to fit your busy schedule.
  • State-of-the-art facility: Our Center for Athletic Medicine features some of the most innovative treatment and performance equipment in the country. You receive performance improvement training from experts who are leaders in their fields.

Request an appointment

Request an appointment or learn more about our sports medicine services. We offer in-person and virtual visits.

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Have an injury?

Appointments within 24 business hours. Virtual visits available. Call (313) 651-1969.


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