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Did you wake up today with the feeling of pain, soreness in your muscle and joints?

Felt like calling in sick but you know you have to push through to pay the bills?

Hi, I’m Jen a Physiotherapist at Primal Physiotherapy.
Today I’m going to show you some stretches and warm-ups that will help you avoid the pain so you can enjoy going to work at the warehouse every day.

Every week i treat clients who work in warehousing that suffer pain in their body ranging from back, shoulders, knees, wrists.. you name it.
If your job is fast-paced and involves repetitive movements like:

  • Squatting & lunging
  • stacking above the shoulders
  • Always standing or moving on your feet

You’ve come to the right place.

Before we go into the stretches we should learn why our body all of a sudden is feeling pain, tightness, and restriction.

  • Why we are experiencing pain?  What if we don’t take action?
  • Getting ahead of injury – Stretches before and after work
  • Warming at work – making sure our joints and muscles are warmed up

 

Why we are experiencing pain? 

When your body gets sore and you’re feeling the stiffness and aching, it’s a sign that you’re muscles are growing but also needs rest. This happens especially if you’re new to a job at the warehouse which your body is not used to and it needs to adjust to the demand of your work. Usually, it takes 1-3 days for your muscles to recover but if you’re continuing to work and push your body it will cause massive strain on the muscles making it weak which can lead up to an injury fast.

If you’re already experiencing pain you can try to relieve some pain with:

  • Rest – Maybe take tomorrow off (if you can)
  • Ice pack – apply it over the area but not directly on the skin
  • Painkillers – panadol or ibuprofen ( not suggested using frequently )
  • massage ( lightly massage the area )

Rest is the most important thing to do and also applying a stretch and warmup routine will help you avoid the chances of pain even better!

If you are more flexible and stronger, your body will be able to handle daily tasks with ease so you can hit those KPI (key performance indicators) targets, pick-rate etc.
When we begin work it’s important to warm up our body and muscles to get the blood flowing so we can move smoothly and lessen the risk of injury.

What if we don’t take action?

With lower back pain, if left untreated, you may develop stiffness and limited range of motion. For instance, you may be limited in your motion when bending forward. The pain may also spread if left untreated and extend down into the legs. It may even come to a point where you can’t move and will have to stay in a certain pose to not feel the pain which will take even longer to recover making you take time off from work.

With upper body overuse injuries, the pain may increase and make daily activities at home such as doing the dishes or brushing your hair difficult. If this happens when you hold or grab something repetitively the wrists are vibrating pain and it will eventually travel all the way to your forearm and shoulders.

If you do have an on-site physiotherapist at your warehouse or you don’t wish to let work know about it, you can always consult a physiotherapist outside work. The faster you see a physiotherapist the faster they will be able to help understand your situation and implement a plan to recover while possibly still being able to work. If the condition is at a serious stage they may suggest you take some time off and focus on your rehabilitation to make sure you are fit to work.

Disclaimer: if you are experiencing dizziness, double vision, trouble swallowing, pin, and needles down back or legs, please immediately consult with a physiotherapist or your local general practitioner.

The Stretches – Getting ahead of injury 

Let’s have a look at some stretches I recommend to help avoid injuries when you get home from a long day at work. To find out what’s right for you t’s best to always consult a Physiotherapist for the best outcome.

  • Lumbar Windshield Wipers
  • QL stretch
  • Rotation Stretch
  • Arms above head
  • Arms in front
  • Arms Across
  • Wrist Flexor
  • Wrist extensor
  • Arm Circles ( before starting your job )
  • Squats ( before starting your job )

Quick Reminder Check

  • Remember, be gentle with yourself and move slowly.
  • Do this at the start and at the end of your day
  • Each stretch is held for 15-30 seconds.
  • Listen to your favourite song while doing this to feel even better!
  • Listen to your body. You can overdo it on a stretch, so have a gentle stretch rather than a strong one.
  • Seek the advice of a Physiotherapist for the best results
  • You can download our PDF here: 

Back and Lower Body –  Do when first waking up before work

Stretch #1 – Lumbar Windshield Wipers

  • laying on your back, bend your knees up towards your chest
  • Drop your knees to one side keeping your back flat on the bed
  • Bring your knees to the other side
  • Repeat 5x
Lumbar Windshield Wipers step 1

Lumbar Windshield Wipers step 1

Lumbar Windshield Wipers step 2

Lumbar Windshield Wipers step 2

Stretch #2 – QL stretch

  • Standing up, cross your left leg in front of the right
  • Reach your left arm above your head and lean your upper body and arm over to the right while simultaneously pushing your hips out to the left
  • Hold 20-30s
  • Repeat on the other side
QL stretch 1

QL stretch Step 1

QL stretch 2

QL Stretch Step 2

 

Stretch #3 – Rotation stretch

  • Standing up rotate your back slowly to the right while keeping your hips pointing forward
  • Hold for 20-30s
  • Repeat on the other side
Rotation stretch step1

Rotation Stretch Step 1

Rotation stretch 2

Rotation Stretch Step 2

Now onto the arms! As you work if one part of the body gets injured it will spread out to other parts which will make it difficult to complete your job.

Stretch #4- Arms above head

  • Bring arms above your head
  • Interlace your fingers and rotate so your palms face the ceiling.
  • Stretch your palms up towards the ceiling
  • Hold for 20-30s
Arms above head  step1

Arms above head stretch step 1

Arms above head step 2

Arms above head step 2

Stretch #5 – Arms in front

  • Bring arms at shoulder height out in front of you
  • Interlace your fingers and turn your palms out away from you
  • Stretch your palms out away from you and puff out your back
  • Hold for 20-30s
Arms in front  step2

Arms in front stretch step 1

 

Stretch #6 – Arms across

  • Bring one arm across your body as if you were touching the opposite shoulder.
  • Using your other arm, grab your arm across you body above the elbow
  • Put pressure through the back of your elbow to intensify the stretch
  • Hold for 20-30s
  • Repeat on other arm
Arns across step1

Arms across Stretch step 1

Arms across step2

Arms across stretch step 2

Stretch #7 – Wrist flexor

  • Extend one arm out in front of you
  • Bend at your wrist so that your palm faces you and your fingers are facing down
  • Use your other arm to apply pressure at the back of your hand to intensify the stretch across the back of your wrist
  • Hold for 20-30s
  • Repeat on other arm
Wrist Flexor

Wrist Flexor Stretch

Stretch #8 – Wrist extensor

  • Extend one arm out in front of you
  • Bend your wrist so the back of your hand faces you and your fingers are facing up
  • Use your other hand to apply pressure at your palm to intensify the stretch across your inner wrist
  • Hold for 20-30s
  • Repeat on other arm
Wrist extensor

Wrist Extensor Stretch

Warming up – Warming at work before you start

Arm circles

  • Standing up, straighten both your arms out to the sides
  • Keeping your arms straight, draw 10 circles clockwise with your hands
  • Then, draw 10 circles counterclockwise with your hands
Arm circle

Arm circle stretch

Squats

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Keep your back straight throughout the exercise
  • Bend at the hips and knees as if you are sitting down in a chair
  • Repeat 10x
Squat step1

Squat for Warmup

Squat step2

Squat for Warmup

Conclusion 

I understand working in a warehouse over time may cause injuries quite often. When it gets easier, we tend to take shortcuts to do things much easier or quicker. Overtime we won’t know how it affects our body until we are injured out of the blue. When it does come it will hurt painful and will disrupt your performance for a few days. Keeping at the stretches & warmups will help you avoid this, however, if you are feeling some pain or tightness feel free to contact me at Primal Physiotherapy, and ill be happy to see how i can find your improvement points to remove the pain forever.

Jen graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Doctor of Physiotherapy. Having worked in the physiotherapy industry for a number of years in the USA, Jen brings a high level of expertise to the team. Jen‘s clinical knowledge and enthusiasm for living an active lifestyle makes her the perfect physio for those looking to get back on track. Like a true Melbournian, Jen enjoys hiking, painting, and looking after her plant babies.

Primal Physiotherapy is the leader in Physiotherapy focused on guiding you through your injury so you can return back to life, work, and exercise pain-free. To learn more about us you can learn more here: https://primalphysiotherapy.com.au/