Look after your body as well as your tools

Written by Osteopath, Aleasha Ball

She'll be right mate! A tradies guide to get back to work.

As part of your job, Aussie tradies are built tough! Working long hours with your hands all day, battling the elements, with heavy lifting, and carrying tools all day – it can take a toll! The physical demands and manual labour can find most tradies in difficult positions like crawling into tight spaces, awkward lifting, reaching around corners and even working on unstable surfaces.

Quite simply, as a tradie, you rely on your body for your work - it’s your most valuable and important tool. If your body is no longer moving the way you want it to, or if you suffer an injury, then comes the risk of having to take time off work. On average, tradies will take 5-6 weeks off work due to serious workplace injury. Accidents happen! Slips, trips, falls, cuts and bruises are all regular occurrences. However, the most frequent injury is from lifting. Common areas of injury and pain for tradespeople are: • Low back pain • Neck and shoulder pain • Elbow pain • Knee pain • Ankle sprain • Sciatica

You probably think you just need to toughen up; often working through the pain and hoping for the best. Sometimes that “she’ll be right” attitude can be your worst enemy. Putting off medical help because you may be worried about a particular diagnosis (bulging disc, a torn ligament, etc) and what that could mean for them (“that’s six weeks off mate”), can often lead to longer recovery time. And if you happen to check Dr Google, you’ll end up thinking you’ll be on the operating table in 2 days!

If you experience an injury, it is important that you seek help early, so you access the best treatment for your condition. Osteopaths are experts in human movement. They understand how your muscles, bones, joints, and ligaments work and how injuries happen.

Osteopaths can help get you back to work faster!

We can offer help in a range of ways including manual therapy, exercise prescription and helping you understand your condition, so you know how best to manage it. We’ll aim to get you back to work in better condition than before.

Our advice – don’t wait for your injury to get worse. It doesn’t have to be critical for you to see a health professional. Remember – early intervention can prevent more serious injury.