Definition - What does Lower Extremity mean?
A lower extremity is one of the lower parts of the body. The hips, legs, ankles, and feet are all considered lower extremities. Each specific lower extremity has both an anatomical term and common name used to identify more precisely the part of the body being considered. A lower extremity is often at higher risk for circulation disorders in workers who must sit much of the day. The body's lower extremities may also be referred to as a lower limb.
WorkplaceTesting explains Lower Extremity
Anatomical terms of location divide the body into discrete sections. The use of consistent terms allows medical and other professionals to communicate clearly with one another when discussing a patient. The term lower extremity is used to identify those parts of the lower body beginning at the hip. Only parts of the lower limb, including hip, leg, ankle, and foot are included in the lower extremity. The area of the body between the hips and below the waist are referred to as the pelvic region.
Musculoskeletal disorders that affect the lower extremity are called lower limb musculoskeletal disorders (LLD). Stress fractures, shin splints, bursitis, and ankle strains are all examples of lower limb musculoskeletal disorders.
Repetitive stress can trigger a lower limb musculoskeletal injury as can acute trauma. For instance, a worker who jumps from the cab of a high axle vehicle, rather than climbing down, may suffer injury. Kneeling for an extended period may cause cumulative trauma to the knee or reduce circulation. Sitting on a hard surface, or in a static or awkward position, may trigger pain or damage to the sciatic nerve of the hip. Both job design and work practices must employ ergonomic principals to avoid lower limb musculoskeletal and circulation harm.