Did you know it’s Tradies Health Month? Tradespeople, affectionately known as ‘tradies’ in Australia, make up about 30% of the work force yet they account for almost 60% of claims for worker’s compensation? (Work Safe Australia, 2017)

Tradies typically perform a range of demanding physical tasks every day including lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling heavy objects or using tools that require large amounts of force such as shovels, hammers, etc.

Another important factor to consider is that many manual jobs need to be performed in difficult positions, whilst bending or lying down, reaching around corners and even working on unstable surfaces. These factors may put workers at risk of physical injury and harm.

To bring awareness to Tradies National Health Month, we would like to offer some ideas and advice on how to deal with the demands of a manual job and the best way to avoid injury. In our line of work we spend the best part of the day try to push and pull other people into therapeutic positions.

The old saying “prevention is better than cure” could not be more true!

There are a lot of things you can do to help avoid injuring yourself. It can be helpful to focus on your fitness and ensure you are in the best physical condition possible. Regular strength and endurance training will mean your body is better able to deal with the physical demands placed on it. Paying some attention to core strength is a great way to reduce the risk of low back injuries, one of the most common injuries associated with manual lifting. All that said, giving your body the time it needs to rest and recover is vital, so regular stretching as well as spending some time on mobility focused exercises can help aid your recovery after a big day and keep you moving freely.

If you do experience an injury it is important that you seek help early, so you can get diagnosed and access the best treatment for your condition. All our health professionals at Melbourne Osteohealth are registered with their respective accrediting bodies, and use the best available evidence to decide what treatment is best suited for you. This may involve referral to your GP for pain medication or anti-inflammatories, and we may refer you for diagnostic imaging.

Our Osteopaths and Exercise Physiologists can offer help in a range of ways including manual therapy, exercise prescription and educating you about your condition so you know how best to manage it. We’ll aim to get you back to work in better condition than ever.