According to the Australian chiropractic Association, tradies account for the highest percentage of serious muscloskeletal disorder (MSD) claims. Majority of serious MSD claims around 63% are due to body stressing. This occurs when muscles, tendons, ligaments or bones are placed under stress. 73% of body stress claims are as a result of lifting, carrying, putting down or handling objects.
Ignoring aches, pains and body stress can result in reduced quality of life and early retirement. It is important to be proactive about preventing and addressing health issues. Check out these tips to keep the spine happy and decrease the risk of injury.
Don’t ignore pain
Don’t ignore pain. Early intervention and treatment are part of the solution. Back pain, neck pain and muscle stress should not be ignored, as over time it can become worse and cause significant health problems. It is important to seek help from a chiropractor or other health professional. Make your health a priority and get back pain checked.
Chiropractors can provide advice and assistance on maintaining a healthy spine and improving spinal function, while recommending appropriate care options and exercises.
Stretch and Warm-up
It is important to stretch before and after work. If your body is not warmed up, you back may be at risk of sustaining injuries. Take a few minutes to warm up and do some stretches to increase flexibility, circulation and range of motion. This will help loosen up muscles and prepare your body for the physical day ahead.
Lifting requires energy and muscle effort. If lifting is done incorrectly it can put extra force on your spine and the muscles, tendons and ligaments that support it. Take a moment to assess if there is an easier way to lift heavy objects. Using assistance tools like a crane, forklift or wheelbarrow are important. This approach can help you move heavy objects easily and help reduce the load on your body. Do not lift beyond your limit! Correct lifting techniques can help reduce some of the associated risk and help prevent injury. With your feet in a stable position, bend at the knees and lift using your hips and knees, not your back. Be sure to bring your body close to the item you are lifting. Break large items into smaller quantities before lifting.
It is very important to be conscious of your posture. Poor posture and staying in an awkward position for long periods puts strain on your spine. Correct your posture if you notice you are hunching or sloughing.
Many tradies assume that because their job is physically demanding, they don’t need to maintain regular exercise. Constant strain on the same parts of the body, makes you more prone to injury. The body needs a variety of movement, even after a hard days work! Simple exercises such as going for a walk, swimming or a gentle bike ride are great ways to introduce variety in your daily physical routine.
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