Preventing Construction Injuries Through Stretching & Strengthening


Construction injures are incredibly common…

and avoidable in many instances. If laborers were to take the time to stretch before a task or prior to arriving at the job site, then reported cases of workplace injury would likely decrease.

I witnessed a laborer walking up a flight of stairs in a power plant and dislocate his ankle while carrying a couple 2 x 4’s. This man was not in best of shape. Could this injury have been prevented had he been on a stretching and strengthening program? I like to think he could have limited the extent of the injury with preparation. Maybe his boots were too loose? Maybe he was thinking of something unrelated to what he was doing or where he was going while carrying those materials?

I was a union carpenter for 11 years and in trade school we were taught to stretch out before work. Most of us followed this routine, unless you were in your teens or early twenties! Now, as a physical therapist assistant, I have the pleasure of working with tradesman in a different fashion. I get to help them recover from injuries. At the same time, I get to help them prevent injuries by working on a routine of stretching and strengthening. For example, by completing a basic routine of lower extremity strengthening and stretching exercises, a workplace injury such as the one mentioned may have been avoided.

Construction sites can be dangerous places and it’s best to minimize the chance of injury the best you can. Incorporating a routine of stretching and strengthening will likely minimize the event of an injury such as a strain, sprain, or fracture. Stretching the hamstrings prior to bending over to pick up that circular saw may prevent a lumbar strain. Completing some lower trunk rotations in the morning may prevent a rotational injury such as an end of range twist to mark “and go” on a stud. Musculoskeletal injuries abound in construction. We do not need statistics to tell us that. I know from experience many injuries go unreported. In my experience, shoulder and back injuries occurred more than any other musculoskeletal injury. Shoulder injuries could be prevented with scapular stabilization exercises.

Construction is a dangerous job.

It requires a lot physical stamina too. We want our patients to maximize time in their workplace by incorporating a basic stretching and strengthening program.

Prevent further and future injuries at Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy. Come in today for your Free Rapid Recovery ®Injury Assessment!