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  • Writer's pictureAriela Liberman

Have a Physically Demanding Job? Prevent Pain at Work With Physical Therapy

Updated: Aug 10

two men at their construction job

Work can take a toll on your body mentally and physically, especially if you are in a more physically demanding environment. Many jobs are physically taxing, whether that be construction, retail, food service, healthcare, landscaping, etc., but simply managing the pain isn't always the best option in the long run.

Injuries are more likely to happen in an active job as you are in motion for at least 8 hours of the day; however, injuries can permanently alter your body and possibly put you out of work. We want to see you thrive in your professional and personal life, and physical therapy can help you relieve your pain and prevent future injuries.

Common Aches, Pains, & Injuries From Physical Jobs

1) Lower Back Pain

In active jobs, it's common to frequently bend, twist, turn, lift, and carry heavy objects, all of which can result in back pain, especially if the movements are done incorrectly. Physical workers' most common complaint is back pain, which can be debilitating if not taken care of.

2) Fatigue

Being on your feet for an entire workday, 5 days a week, can exhaust your body. Physical jobs can involve a lot of movement, which on its own can be tiring, but mixed with the demands of your job can make it 10 times worse. Movements such as bending and twisting that are involved in more than 25% of the workday are connected to whole-body fatigue among physical workers. Lack of sleep can also cause fatigue, and many active jobs require long hours starting early in the morning or even staying up late at night.

3) Muscle Strains

Muscle strains can be caused by overexerting your body, improper movement techniques, or lack of breaks. Another major contributor is repetitive movements which are very common in physical environments. If you or someone you know has a physically demanding job, think of all the ways they repeat the same daily movements, for example, digging in landscaping.

4) Slips and Falls

Injuries can arise from slipping or falling in the workplace. Many physical workplace environments are outdoors, have slippery floors, and involve heights, among other safety hazards. Having an injury can either lower your working ability or take you out of work altogether.

How You Can Utilize Physical Therapy

Here at Rehab United, we utilize the principles of Applied Functional Science when treating patients. AFS incorporates personal daily movements into your treatment plan to fit your needs and reach your goals. We know physical jobs require stamina and strength, and our physical therapists will make sure that your plan involves movements that touch upon those concepts. Implementing proper movement techniques and habits will reduce your daily pain and prevent injuries so that you can keep working and doing what you love, comfortably.

We also know that a common way to reduce and manage pain is through medication, however, that is only a temporary treatment. Painkillers are a great way to temporarily reduce pain, but we recommend seeing one of our physical therapists if you want to treat the root cause of your symptoms. Our highly-qualified PTs will get to the bottom of your pain, treating it at the source, so you can enjoy your life pain-free.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Rehab United offers on-site Orthopedic Physical Therapy at all of our San Diego locations! Orthopedics can get you back to doing your daily activities after an injury, condition, surgery, etc. Orthopedic physical therapists treat conditions affecting your musculoskeletal system, which includes your muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and connective tissue. Some common conditions our Orthopedic Specialists treat include, but are not limited to:

  • Back and Neck Pain

  • Sciatica

  • Carpal Tunnel

  • Overuse Injuries

  • Post-Surgical Rehabilitation

  • Work and Sports Injuries

Work at a Desk or From Home? No Problem. Read our blog post on ergonomics for tips and tricks on improving your workstation and posture to reduce pain.

Schedule The Care You Need!

Take advantage of orthopedic physical therapy if you have common work injuries or pains! Whether it's back pain, fatigue, muscle strains, overuse injuries, or other issues you are dealing with, we are here to help.

Rehab United accepts workers' compensation! Request an appointment today and one of our physical therapists will provide you with a free screening.


Ariela Liberman is a Marketing Associate and a staff writer for Rehab United, with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies. Born and raised in San Diego, she is a Southern California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness.

Medically Reviewed by: Arturo Valle, PT, DPT, FAFS, CSCS, STMT-1, BFR-1, CCI,

Dr. Valle is a Physical Therapist, Clinic Director of Rehab United in Escondido, and Director of Rehab United’s Quality Assurance Program. As a graduate of USC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Valle has always emphasized the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice into all plans of care. Throughout his 12 years of experience, Dr. Valle has treated thousands of orthopedic-related and sports injuries and mentored countless Physical Therapists and Students of Physical Therapy.

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