Did you know August is Tradies National Health Month?
We see numerous tradies at our clinic after workplace injuries, most commonly injuries of the back, shoulders and knees

Acute (short-term) low back pain can occur for various reasons, but one of the common ways tradies injure their lower back is by lifting heavy objects with an incorrect form.

Physiotherapists will perform a thorough examination to form a diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is made, physiotherapists will implement patient-specific treatments to help reduce pain, improve range, give advice on self-management strategies and prescribe appropriate home exercise programs.

Tradies’ health is so important because your body is your primary work tool. Repetitive bending and heavy lifting can lead to injuries so it’s important not to ignore any niggles you may feel in your body.

Not only is it important to see a physiotherapist for treatment after an injury, but tradies should also be aware of the importance of injury prevention and management.

Here are some ways you can look after yourself at work:

  • Warm up and stretch before and after work

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) acute injuries

  • Communicate well with workmates to ensure the safety of both the workmate and yourself

  • Don’t put yourself at risk and know when to say ‘no’ to high-risk work

  • Apply the correct lifting technique

  • Don’t wait for your symptoms to become major injuries and see a physiotherapist if you have any niggles

Some common symptoms to look out for with lower back or knee injuries include: pain, reduced range and reduced function.

The first step after a back or knee injury is to implement RICE.

  • Rest the affected area

  • Ice the area to reduce inflammation (may need to apply heat to your lower back).

  • Compress the knee if there is swelling.

  • Elevate the knee to further assist in swelling reduction (remember, you want your knee higher than your heart to move fluid to your heart).

Acute pain may settle and self-resolve after a couple of days but if they linger, it’s time to visit a physiotherapist. Leaving an acute injury unattended may lead to longer recovery times, chronic pain, and secondary pain.

How Physiotherapists can help

Physiotherapists can prescribe core strengthening exercises to prevent injuries. Our core muscles include the Transverse Abdominis and Multifidus. Along with the diaphragm and the pelvic floor they act as a corset around our spine. The core muscles are therefore important stabilisers for our lower back. It is important to re-train the motor control of these core muscles following an injury to improve the stability of your lower back and to prevent future injuries. Physiotherapists at Advantage can help you re-train these muscles. We also run Clinical Pilates classes to assist you in building these core muscles needed for your daily activities or sport.

Physiotherapists can also help with early interventions to prevent progression of your symptoms and teach self management strategies


Work safe and stay safe ☺

Anna Oh