This August marks the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s ninth Tradies National Health Month, an awareness initiative that shines light on the importance of tradies health.

If you’re a tradesperson, you already know how physically demanding your days can be.

Frequent bending and slouching, lifting heavy, repetitive motions, exposure to vibrations, and exposure to extreme weather all increase the risk of muscle and bone injuries.

This is why it’s no surprise why research suggest that 60% of tradies often have aches and pains as a result of their job.

Most injuries among tradespeople are sprains and strains of the muscles. This line of physical work can also cause injury to your joints, bones and nerves through constant wear and tear of the body.

Generally, the physical nature of tradespeople is associated with an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

Did you know that sprains, strains or musculoskeletal injuries account for nearly 43% of all serious work-related injury claims in Australia? Meanwhile many workers are still working to their limits and not reporting or consulting for an injury when it occurs.

While musculoskeletal injuries are the most common, there are three types of common injuries that occur on the job site.

 

Common tradie injuries:

Traumatic joint/ Musculoskeletal injuries

As discussed, the most common injuries are strains and sprains, muscle and joint pains in tradespeople.

Lower back pain is the most common complaint among tradies and service workers, followed closely by shoulder, neck, knee, hand, and ankle injuries.

Back pain and other aches caused by repeated lifting of materials, sudden movements, whole body vibrations or even bending over for too long!

Aches and pains that happen overnight are a result of a build up over time, so it is important to consult a physiotherapist as soon as you start to feel symptoms.

Fractures:

Tradespeople often perform task from great heights and are surrounded by bulky and dangerous equipment that pose a number of threats to workers.

In some cases, broken bones and multiple-fracture injuries can occur. While some fractures do not require much time to heal, more severe ones require surgery and a long recovery process.

Cuts and lacerations

Body parts, specifically hands often suffer the most damage as workers handle sharp and powerful tools.

These injuries can leave deep scratched and cuts or punctures.

Our tips for preventing musculoskeletal injuries:

  • Warm up before work! Simple dynamic movements will warm up muscles,
    improve elasticity and help keep you comfortable at work.
  • Learn to lift properly – Bend with your legs not your hips Use your entire body when possible, especially large muscles that are meant to take the load, but most importantly know your limits when lifting!
  • Maintain a neutral spine – Check your posture during the day and avoid slouching. Help reset your body by taking regular breaks and stretch your shoulders, arms and back.
  • Report your injuries – Help your body by reporting an injury when it occurs. If you feel like something isn’t quite right, consult a health professional.
  • Exercise – one of the key thing’s workers can do for themselves is to stay physically fit. The benefits include:
    • Increase muscular endurance (ability for the muscles to resist fatigue)
    • Increase aerobic and functional capacity to complete daily tasks
    • Reduce the likelihood of injury (i.e. lower back pain/disc)

Remember mobility is key!

Did you know?

That two-thirds of tradies agreed that they would be more inclined to warm-up before starting work if their employer prioritised it.

One simple and cost-effective way to minimise bodily injury before physically demanding construction work, is to utilise dynamic movements. Done correctly, dynamic movements can improve circulation, flexibility, and improve your physical performance while on the job.

Why should you see a physiotherapist?

A physiotherapist has high-level skills that can help treat the disorders that affect how you move, how your muscles and joints work together.

Mid North Coast Physiotherapy and Injury Clinic can help manage your patients existing conditions, improve function and mobility in their problem areas, prevent injuries and promote a healthy lifestyle for our tradies.

Our physiotherapists are ideally suited to provide a course of exercise and recovery advice for many types of injuries in particular back pain. With appropriate physio treatment tradies can get back on their feet quickly and lessen the chance of re-injury.

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