How To Have Our Tradies Backs

Did you know that tradies take up 30% of our workforce? 

Working as a tradie can be very physically demanding with the constant lifting, manual labour and long hours that the job requires. It can often take a significant strain on the body, especially the back. Back pain is one of the most common injuries suffered by tradespeople. According to Work Safe Australia in 2015, 190 serious workers compensation claims were being made daily by Australian tradies, making it three times the national average compared to other occupations in Australia. For this reason, we need to encourage our tradies to take more care of their backs. 

Encourage Daily Stretching  

Stretching is vital in preparing for a day of work. It allows the muscles and soft tissue to warm up and prepare themselves for the day ahead. When the body starts to become stiff as a result of lifting, bending or twisting repeatedly, the lower back, neck, and shoulders will start to feel the impact.  

Without regular stretching, the upper and mid-back will begin to cause strain on the lower back, thus becoming more prone to injury on the job site. 30% of those who have experienced back pain in the past will have the reoccurrence of the same pain throughout their lifetime. Encouraging a 5-minute stretch of the back daily can significantly improve posture, muscle soreness, reduce the reoccurring pain and decrease the chance of injury. 

Correct Lifting Technique  

 Manual handling is the most common cause of injury in tradies due to the consistent bending, kneeling and lifting posture that’s used when on the job. Ensuring that tradies are lifting with their legs can help avoid the risk of straining their backs. Start by keeping the back as straight as possible and keeping the knees bent. 

When going to lift the load, ensure that the glutes and leg muscles are activated. These muscles are the largest in the body, therefore they must be used during lifting to ensure no injury to the rest of the body occurs. The correct lifting technique is essential in preventing back injury in tradies. Before lifting assess the load, if the load is too big make sure to ask for help! 

Over three million Australians suffer from lower back pain every year. A 2015 report showed that the most common age of Australians with lower back pain was males aged 30-39. Here at Progressive Physiotherapy, we not only care about your physical pain but the overall wellbeing of your health. 

We take the hassle-free approach to recovery and will be there every step of the way to get you stress-free and moving again. Contact the practice today on (02) 4721 7798, email or book your appointment online here. 

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.