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Tradie Health & Well-being Minute – Preventing Lower Back Pain
Tradie Health & Well-being Minute – Preventing Lower Back Pain
October 24, 2019

Human bodies are very capable however occasionally can become dysfunctional, painful, or injured. Individuals in trade work specifically, are at a higher risk of muscular pain and injury. Of the 306,800 males who experienced a work-related injury or illness between 2017 and 2018, 36% were technicians and trades workers. Lifting, pushing, pulling or bending was the most common way work related injury or illness occurred, with 2 4% of people reporting those methods of injury (Australia Bureau of Statistics, 2018).

With tradies, back pain is certainly the most common complaint. Lower back pain when not managed can become debilitating, therefore effecting work productivity and overall physical and mental health of the individual.

Remedial Massage and Myotherapy are two extremely beneficial ways to maintain muscular health. The reason lower backs can become painful and restricted from trade work is due to what is involved. Multiple hours in uncomfortable positions, lifting heavy objects and equipment with rotation is one guaranteed way to increase injury (Eaves, Gyi & Gibb, 2016). However, there are strategies to reduce injury risk and ensure you are able to function at full capacity. Regular treatment to release tension in the major muscle groups which support you during work, including the lower back, glutes, and quads is recommended. Between regular massage treatments stretching and strengthening are two vital components to improving your health as a trades person.

Here are three stretches and an exercise to minimise lower back pain and injury:

Child’s Pose – Stretching your lower back

On your hands and knees you lean back so your bottom is touching your feet, you extend your arms out in front and relax your head to the ground.
This stretch targets your lower back muscles and the muscles that extend up either side of your spine.

Taking deep breaths through stretching is an important part to ensure your brain, body, and nervous system relax into the stretch.

Hold for 15 seconds, repeat 5 times, daily is ideal however twice a week will also benefit

Glute Stretch – Stretching your glutes

Laying on your back place left ankle on your right knee, ensuring your left knee is pointing outwards, place your hands behind your right knee and pull your knee towards your body. You should feel this stretch through the outside of you left leg and into your left glute. Swap sides.

Hold for 15 seconds, repeat 5 times each leg, daily is ideal however twice a week will also benefit

Hamstring Stretch – Stretching your hamstring

Standing position with straight legs, let your body hang down aiming to touch the ground with your hands, squeezing your glutes and core at the same time to offer support so you are not over-stretching your hamstrings. Don’t push past your comfortable limit, breath through tension until it relaxes and then stretch further.

Hold for 15 seconds, repeat 5 times, daily is ideal however twice a week will also benefit

Glute Bridge – Strengthening glutes 

Laying on your back, feet shoulder width apart on the ground, squeeze your abs, squeeze your glutes and lift your bottom upwards, hold for 4 seconds and then slowly lower back down to ground.

10 repetitions, 2 sets, twice a week

When stretching or strengthening any muscle group remember discomfort during is normal, pain however is not. If any stretch or exercise is ever painful reduce, adjust, or discontinue.

References

Australia Buerau of Statistics, ‘Work-Related Injuries, Australia, Jul 2017 to Jun 2018’, <https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6324.0>.

Eaves, S, Gyi, D.E & Gibb, A 2016, ‘Building healthy construction workers: Their views on health, wellbeing, and better workplace design’, Appl Ergon, vol. 54, doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2015.11.004., <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26851459>.

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Contact us on (03) 86584087 to organise your “massage health and well-being treatment plan”, and let our therapists help you feel your best and get back to doing what you love.

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