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How Exercise Physiology (EP) can assist with psychological work injuries?

Often when we talk about work injuries, we immediately think physical but psychological injuries also occur at work. When it comes to treatment for psychological injuries, we know it’s likely they need psychological intervention but what about physical treatment? We know how beneficial it is to exercise with mental health conditions but when it comes to psychological work injuries we don’t. Why isn’t this a part of their treatment?

Let’s break down why and how it is beneficial for EP treatment when a worker is suffering with a psychological injury!

Firstly, people who are experiencing a mental health condition are at a higher risk for chronic conditions compared to the general population. These include heart disease, diabetes and weight gain. With this we want the injured worker to be as healthy as they can whilst undergoing psychological treatment. We also don’t want an injured worker to develop any further conditions whilst they aren’t at work or for their entire work life if we can help it! Including EP will reduce the risk for these conditions.

If the worker has a physical job and suddenly is unable to attend work for a psychological reason their conditioning is likely to suffer. To assist in the maintenance of their physical health EP can be a great intervention, that way when they are ready to return, they are physically ready. EP will help to maintain their functional capacity and reduce likelihood of any physical injuries upon return to work.

We don’t want an injured worker’s physical health to suffer due to mental health conditions.

It is well documented the evidence around exercise and reducing/managing mental health symptoms. So why when it comes to a work injury it is not primary care to include exercise? Exercise helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and help improve their sleep.

The body and mind are connected, you can’t treat one while ignoring the other.

EP treatment can also provide some other less obvious benefits. Including EP treatment can assist with maintaining social interaction for the injured worker particularly when they are not at work anymore. It can allow them to set some goals and give them feelings of achievement when they are kicking goals!!

If you think this applies to you or someone you know, give us a call on 4016 4446 or email at info@hunterrehab.com.au

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