For those individuals experiencing musculoskeletal strain or sprain affecting the neck, back, upper limb or lower body, seeing an osteopath at Principle Four Osteopathy in Melbourne CBD will allow you to get a diagnosis of your injury as well as seek much needed pain relief and improved movement and function.

Our osteopaths will assist in reviewing your workplace tasks and postures and provide advice on workstation ergonomics and manual handling technique where indicated.Medium to longer term goals and focus will look to return you to work fully functioning without pain as well as provide you with self help management strategies to prevent further recurrences.This may involve prescription of stretching exercises and general strength and conditioning exercises to improve your body’s capacity to undertake the required job tasks.


  • Musculoskeletal strains and sprains account for the majority of serious claims in the workplace
  • The most common body regions impacted by a workplace strain and sprain includes the spine (approximately 50%) and the upper limb (approximately 30%).
  • Musculoskeletal strains and sprains effect the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments
  • In workplaces where manual handling is the predominant task performed by workers, risk factors include manual handling heavy or awkward loads for long periods for time or repetitively
  • In workplaces where seated based computer work tasks are the predominant task performed by workers, lack of movement, awkward postures, long duration or repetitive tasks are the biggest risks for cause of injury

The True Cost Of Workplace Injuries

Did you know that workplace musculoskeletal strains and sprains account for 88% of serious claims and of these claims, 40% were joint, ligament, muscle and tendon injuries (https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/data-and-research/work-related-injuries).

The most common body regions impacted by injury in the workplace includes the spine (neck, mid and lower back) and upper limb (shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand).  Common causes of these strains and sprains include repetitive tasks, sustained awkward working postures, handling unstable or unbalanced loads and slips, trips and falls (https://www.workhealthyaustralia.com.au/prevent-sprains-and-strains).

The most common sign and symptom of an acute workplace strain or sprain includes pain, tenderness, swelling, weakness, muscle spasms and limited movement (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/muscle-strains/symptoms-causes/syc-20450507).  For those more chronic or cumulative related aches and pains, typical signs and symptoms can also include muscular fatigue, muscular tightness and aching.

Work related injury may impact your quality of life by affecting your functional capacity to do your job, mental health, sleep and your overall sense of wellbeing.


These risk factors increase your chance injury in the workplace:

  • DECONDITIONING AND LACK OF CAPACITY:  Workers who are generally de conditioned and lack physical capacity for the inherent demands of the job role are more likely to experience an injury.
  • Previous injury history: Workers who have had an injury have a higher risk of an injury recurrence or likelihood of aggravating a previous complaint. 
  • Job-related risk factors: Jobs that require heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or twisting can injure the back. A desk job may also play a role, especially if you are not moving frequently enough or are sitting in awkward postures for prolonged periods of time.
  • Age: Back pain becomes more common with age, particularly after the age of 45.
  • Heredity: Genetics play a role in some disorders that cause back pain.


Manual handling is the number one cause for workers developing a musculoskeletal disorder.  Common body regions impacted include the neck, mid and lower back and upper limb.  Workers who job tasks involve lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, grasping and manipulating combined with repetitive tasks, high force or exposure for long periods of time have a greater risk of developing musculoskeletal pain.   


Seek medical advice to determine the nature and extent of the injury and to receive appropriate treatment and care.  If the injury is recent or cumulative in nature, discuss this with your workplace as this may constitute a workplace related injury.


The majority of people who experience work related strains and sprains are likely to improve and get better within 2-6 weeks.  Occasionally these complaints can progress into more chronic complaints that impact on both the workers ability to undertake work, but also their general health and wellbeing.  Early intervention is the key to prevention and management of musculoskeletal complaints. 


Book an osteopathy consultation with one of our industry leading osteos.

Note: Private health claiming is available onsite for all osteopathy consults. Please consult your private health fund provider to determine your osteopathy rebate for our initial and subsequent osteopathy consultations..


  • Step 1:  Booking your consult –  Once you have booked a consult with one of our osteopaths, you will be sent a confirmation email and a pre consult questionnaire.  We want to find out why you have booked to see us and what you would like to get out of your consultation
  • Step 2:  Assess, Diagnose ad provide symptom relief – Your initial osteopathic consultation will take about 60 minutes in duration and during this consultation we will listen and talk to you about your complaint and what your goals are.  We will then take you through a comprehensive assessment and then discuss with you our findings and recommended treatment and management plan.  Treatment and management may include manual therapy to provide symptom relief and then a discussion around pain management and symptoms modification strategies. If you require a referral elsewhere, we will discuss this with you and facilitate this.
  • Step 3:  Improve capacity and performance –  Once your symptoms are under control, our goal will be to assist you with building your functional capacity, ability to perform everyday activities without pain and performance.  Our osteopaths will work with you to provide you with strategies to do so.  This may include exercise and  work related assessments and training.

    Can Osteopath Help With Workplace Strains and Sprains

    Most people will call us and ask, “does osteopathy help strains and sprains”. And the answer is ye. Our osteopaths will take a detailed case history relating to the onset of your complaint and then complete an comprehensive physical assessment in order to identify the type of injury you have sustained. The osteopath may then look to provide treatment which may include manual therapy for symptom relief and then prescription of stretching and strengthening exercises or advise on workplace ergonomics and manual handling technique.

    Osteopath Treatment For Work Related Neck Pain

    The most common types of work related neck pain involves tightness of the neck muscles as well as restriction in the neck joints. In some situations a work related neck complaint may involve a disc injury with or without arm related symptoms. In many situations a work related neck complaint will show improvement within days to weeks.

    The osteopath will assist you by providing you with pain relief and improved movement through manual therapy. They can also provide ergonomic and manual handling training advice or undertake a worksite risk assessment to identify hazards and risks that are contributing to aches and pains you are experiencing. Typical worksite management advice involves eliminating or modifying the hazards which will reduce the risk of further aggravation.

    For those workers who primarily spend their day sitting at the workstation, this will involve assessing your set up, making changes to your seat set up and computer set up to optimise the set up for your comfort and wellbeing.

    For those workers who primarily perform manual handling as their core work tasks, this will involve reviewing the tasks being performed, advising on how to eliminate or reduce manual lifting within the workplace, providing advice on how to undertake manual tasks more efficiently to reduce the aggravation of your complaint.

    Osteopath Treatment For Work Related Back Pain

    The lower back is one of the most commonly impacted regions of the body when it comes to injuries in the workplace. For the manual worker, manual tasks such as lifting, pushing, pulling and carrying can all place stress on ones back and potentially lead to lower back strains and sprains. The osteopath will typically undertake a detailed case history and assessment and then provide treatment for pain relief and improved movement.

    Once the complaint has settled down, advice and prescription of exercises will be prescribed to restore full movement and assist you in returning you to full function. The osteopath can also provide advice and undertake a manual task risk assessment as well as manual handling training. This can assist in eliminating or reducing exposure to manual hazards and risks as well as provide you with more optimal ways to perform manual tasks efficiently.

    For workers whose primary job tasks involve sitting at the workstation all day long and performing computer based work tasks, the osteopath can provide manual therapy for symptom relief and prescribe mobility and flexibility exercises to improve movement.

    They can also undertake an onsite or virtual ergonomic risk assessment to review your current set up and provide advice on how to optimise the workstation ergonomics and improve movement throughout the workday to minimise aches and pains that develop as a result of long duration seated work tasks.

    Slips, Trips and Falls At Work

    Slips, trips and falls are the second most common cause of musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace.  Often these injuries result in musculoskeletal stains and sprains.  Fractures and dislocations can also occur as a result of a work related slip, trip and fall, however these are less common.  

    Should you experience an injury at the workplace, notifying your line manager and lodging an incident report should be a high priority, combined with seeking medical care that is proportional to the injury.  For those individuals who experiences muscle strains and joint and ligament sprains, consulting your osteopath in the early phases can be helpful to determine the nature of the injury, as well as seeking out acute care management advice.  Typically many strains and sprains will improve over 2-12 weeks and it is important that you look to restore full range of motion and strength so that you can return to work with the capacity to undertake your daily tasks.  Your osteopath may also be involved in writing out your certificate of capacity and assist in your return to work plan.  

    Repetitive Strain And Impact Injuries At Work

    Repetitive strains are one of the most common causes of cumulative overuse injuries. Typically these impact muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.  Workers who job tasks require undertaking repetitive tasks and use of body regions throughout the day are more likely to experience overuse type injuries.  Where possible it is important to rotate through job tasks or look at job rotation to assist in reducing ones exposure.  Higher level order control measures such as mechanising processes and using lifting aids, or even better designing out certain tasks can drastically reduces ones chances of developing musculoskeletal repetitive strains.  

    If you are experiencing aches and pains that are associated with work, look to consult an osteopath early as this may assist in slowing or preventing the occurrence of ongoing issue. 

    Book An Osteopathy Treatment For Work Injuries

    If you are suffering from a workplace injury book a treatment with one of our osteopaths at Principle Four Osteopathy on Collins St Melbourne CBD.  




    11 + 5 =