Musculoskeletal: What treatments might look like and prevention tips

Musculoskeletal disorders account for 27% of work-related ill-health in NZ

The musculoskeletal system is made up of the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage of the human body. Maintaining good musculoskeletal health through prevention and early treatment can make for a long healthy career if you work in the construction industry.

Common injuries for construction workers can range from sprains, strains, and contusions (bruising) which can be caused by heavy lifting, repetitive movement, poor body posture, forcefulness or muscle effort, or the vibrations from continuous use of hand tools. Symptoms of a workplace injury can range from any kind of pain and discomfort located in and around the neck, shoulders, wrists, back, and knees.

When should I seek help if I suspect an injury?
As soon as you detect any pain or discomfort, inform your employer. It may mean adjusting your work for the day so as not to worsen the pain. You can seek medical treatment from a Habit Health physiotherapist if the pain or discomfort is preventing you from working or if you have any concerns. These health experts specialise in a range of areas and can tend to your unique needs before your injury gets worse.

How can physiotherapy help?
Provide support to get back on the tools quicker after injury. They can also assist with creating a return to work process, so employers know if and when workers will return to work. Including working with you to understand what work can be done, whilst you return to full mobility.

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy aims to help the patient recover from their condition more quickly through regular treatment sessions and to develop coping strategies to aid the patient during the recovery process and prevent secondary problems from occurring. This is achieved by manual therapy, education, exercise rehabilitation, and finding alternative ways to accomplish your goals and live your best life. The ultimate goal of your unique treatment plan is to bring your body function back to optimal so you can continue carrying out duties on-site and the activities you love in your personal time.

What can I do to prevent injury?
Prevention and early intervention are key to maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system so you can carry out your day-to-day duties on-site as well as personal activities you love to do in your own time. Ensure you keep fit and healthy; regular exercise, a good diet, and sleep can assist in keeping your body ready to take on work and recover faster. 

CHASNZ Work Should Not Hurt information is a great resource with many different methods to prevent injury in the first place. Check them out here.

Try these simple exercises to help you warm up before you start your shift and continue throughout the day.

Habit Health’s Early Intervention Physiotherapy program
The RESOLVE Early Intervention Physiotherapy Program provides proactive support for your team, helping them get on top of pain, discomfort, or minor injuries quickly.

The program enables your employees to access a physiotherapist quickly to treat musculoskeletal issues. Early intervention can improve your employee’s health and well-being and help them to return to full fitness sooner.  It can also reduce workplace costs resulting from pain, discomfort, or injury, and related absenteeism.