Manual Handling Injuries

Manual handling means load transport using bodily force. Manual handling injury is a musculoskeletal disorder.

Common causes of Manual handling injuries:

– Lifting heavy loads

– repeated movement

– awkward postures

– exacerbation from previous injuries

– improper/ poor rehabilitation and de-conditioning

Heavy lifting with improper techniques even if we have been trained can often result in strain of the lower back and other used muscles. Even though these muscles are some of the strongest in the human body, they can undergo too much repetitive load and ineffective healing times for resting times to recuperate the worked areas. Thus if these incredible amount of force build up every day then people can suffer from pulling their back and even hearing something move in that area.

The good news is that strains heal. The smaller the strain the quicker it heals. The better the rehab the quicker it heals. But more importantly, the better the rehab the less chance it will re-occur.

Appropriate rest, supervised/guided/planned rehabilitation and manual therapy all help as a treatment method for strains/pulled backs. These are the rates of healing below

Lengths of injury time and healing all differ. A lot of the time people think that these problems will go away by themselves, but a good motto to keep is when in doubt get it checked out.

These “little problems” can snowball into postural problems and people start to compensate and use different body parts to lift and move during work. This will add more undue stress to their body in certain vulnerable areas.

Eventually joint irritations, entrapped nerves, tightness in the muscles and pain which can be referred away from the origin can begin to occur. It is a very known fact in healthcare professional that backpain has a 70% chance of recurrence.

If problems continue to re-occur for avoidance becomes engrained into the individual when they avoid lifting things in the fear that they will possibly damaging themselves. Hurt however does not equal harm directly. Slowly training the body to build resilience is very important in rehabilitation.


Rule of 👍🏼- The best posture is the next posture


Some things to consider if your work requires you to: Have loads away from your body, repeatedly twist or soup, move large strides, carry over large distances, heavy pushing and pulling and also sudden movements – then you must consider

One) use a certified lifting aid

Two) use a carrying aid over longer distances

Three) Avoid carrying loads repetitively

Four) insure a variation in the tasks you do so nothing is constantly repeated

If your employer organisation that you work for expects you to repetitively work and handle loads, the system work pace does not provide you with a decent flow of work and regular breaks, lack of control on your working methods then you may need to consider:

One) vary the tasks that you get to do and take regular breaks by insisting to your employers

Two) change the rate at which you work and factoring and planning some breaks ahead of time

Three) change the goals tailor than around you and the project

Four) have a good self-care plan whether it is a manual therapist like a chiropractor physiotherapist osteopaths or a massage therapist and other tools to aid your recovery after working

Many common injuries that we see in our clinic are things such as joint irritations, strained muscle de-conditioning/ overworking in proper rest nerve entrapment and other less common manual labour injuries such as repetitive strain of the forearms.

Some easy stretches and exercises to do especially after a long day of overworking and some that we give commonly to our patients who have manual labour injuries are listed below

  • Knees to chest
  • Isometric dead lift
  • Hip hinges – hip circles
  • Shoulder circles
  • Spinal Decompression
  • subtraction of the lower limbs by partners at home



A lot of the workforce and labour is coming to our clinic for a regular MOT to get themselves checked and loosened up.

Call into the clinic today to get started with your self-care and wellbeing, if you’d like.

For more:

From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes

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