Despite your body being responsible for every single action and movement completed at work, Australian tradies take better care of their tools than their bodies, according to research completed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA).
It’s an eye-opening statement – given that:
- Almost two-thirds of tradies report being injured in their current job
- Half of those injured expect to be injured again
- 3 in 5 serious workplace injuries involve tradies
- Tradies make up 30% of the Australian workforce
According to the report, some of the reasons behind these injuries lie in the repetitive and intense nature of the work completed by tradies, as well as the tendency to wait until an injury becomes severe before seeking professional help.
Pain Is Not A Normal ‘Part Of The Job’ For Tradies
Another concerning finding from the research was that more than half of tradies thought that the aches and pains they experienced were a normal part of their job, with almost a quarter reporting that they’d call their colleague ‘a wuss’ if they complained about an injury at work.
As physios that work extensively with tradies to treat a variety of upper body and lower limb injuries here at Allsports Physiotherapy, the majority of injuries experienced by tradies we see are preventable. Moreover, tradies could have faster and simpler recoveries if we had seen them sooner, at the point when they were feeling a niggle or a dull ache – instead of limping, being unable to bear weight or struggling to lift their arm.
Physiotherapy Is An Essential Tool In A Tradie’s Toolbox
The good news is that tradies can start taking the right steps and care today to minimise their risk of sustaining new injuries and flaring up old injuries, as well as effectively treating any current aches and pains before they have a chance to worsen and keep you home from work. This is where physiotherapy comes in. We’re an essential tool in your toolbox, and here are five ways that we help tradies stay feeling great at work:
1. We can help you get the technique right
We can assess the way you’re performing repetitive activities at work and help you improve your technique to place less stress and strain on your muscles and joints. Less overuse means a reduced likelihood of injury and pain. When you’re injured, we can show you alternative ways of completing tasks to reduce the likelihood of aggravation.
2. We can help optimise your strength & flexibility for your trade
Being a landscaper, for example, compared to being a carpenter or electrician, can place different demands on different parts of the body. We get to know you, your work environment, the positions you’re constantly in and the physical demands on your body every day. We use this information to create custom exercise programs so you can condition and prepare your body when it comes to your strength and flexibility for work. The stronger and more flexible you are, the slower you fatigue, the better your endurance and performance at work, and the lower your chance of injury.
3. We can restore your confidence at work
It’s an uneasy feeling when previous injuries, muscle weakness or other factors have you feeling unsteady, unstable, or hesitant when performing certain actions as you feel vulnerable to pain or re-injury. A common example is chronic ankle instability in builders, who have previously suffered multiple ankle sprains and shrugged them off, and now feel uneasy when walking on uneven ground on site. We understand your body – in this case, repeated strain on your ankle ligaments have left you feeling unsteady and like you may roll your ankle outwards when performing basic work tasks. Whatever your situation and problem, our physios give you the care and support you need, so you can feel confident at work.
4. We can help you feel great after work, too
While many immediately associate physiotherapy with muscle and joint pain, our profession also includes prescribing exercise programs that assist with chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, male pelvic floor issues and much more. This can help improve your general feelings of wellbeing, helping you gain the physical and mental benefits not only during your workday, but long into your evenings and weekends with your families and loved ones.
5. We can help you get back to work, and stay at work
According to the APA, tradies often experience financial stress as a result of injuries, with a quarter of tradies developing mental health issues like depression and anxiety. By helping you recover effectively and efficiently using best-care principles and evidence-informed interventions, we help you get back to work as soon as possible so you can stay in control of your personal and financial circumstances. Ultimately, our goal is always to prevent injuries from developing in the first place, so you can stay at work, on track, comfortable and pain-free.