The Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) has released new information to coincide with WorkSpace Week that reveals the high incidences of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) in Australia.
The association said the information reveals the impact on workers and the importance of supporting those most at risk of workspace spine-related injuries.
ACA President Dr David Cahill said, “Through WorkSpace Week our aim is to help prevent the incidences of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) by educating Australians about workspace risks and strategies to prevent WMSDs from jobs known to pose a high risk to workers.
“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2019), musculoskeletal conditions account for the greatest proportion of persistent pain conditions - the second largest contributor to disability world-wide with low back pain being the single leading cause of disability, globally.
“WMSDs are a range of inflammatory and degenerative conditions affecting the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, peripheral nerves and supporting blood vessels that may be caused by a single workspace event, but commonly result from repeated harmful workspace activities over an extended period of time.
“Reducing the incidences of WMSDs and minimising their impact through prevention, early diagnosis and effective treatments should be the first priority of both workers and employers alike,” said Dr Cahill.
ACA commissioned Pureprofile to conduct a survey of 1,001 Australians nationally that revealed 87 per cent have experienced a form of WMSD as a result of working.
“Although body stressing is the most commonly reported cause of physical injury for serious workers compensation claims as a result of poorly executed lifting, pushing, pulling or bending; the survey revealed prolonged sitting, computer usage (in an office or at home) and repetitive movements at work can also lead to chronic neck and back pain if not prevented or treated when injuries first occur,” continued Dr Cahill.
“With 87% of respondents reporting experiencing musculoskeletal pain or injury while at work or as a result of working, and 73% of sufferers experiencing 3 or more WMSDs, the most prevalent being low back pain (62%), neck pain (55%), mid back pain (53%) and tension/cervicogenic headaches (52%), the data demonstrates a significant need for employers and employees to practice preventative measures,” he said.
ACA said chiropractic healthcare plays a role in providing 350,000 non-surgical, drug-free chiropractic consultations every week for Australians.
Prevention is the best protection, said ACA, which has developed free resources available online, including the Ergonomic Checklist for computer users, My Healthy WorkSpace Stretching Poster and Factsheets for headache sufferers and workers who sit, lift, bend and stand for prolonged periods for display in workspaces.