Work-related back pain injuries can occur from many activities, whether it is sports, sleeping on too hard of a bed, or even just lifting heavy objects incorrectly. However, one of the more prevalent injuries may come from the workplace. Common workplace back injuries may include:
- Pinched Nerves
- Lower Back Strain
- Fractured Vertebrae
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Herniated Discs
Most of the back injuries that come from the workplace are the result of overextension (twisting) of the spin. This can occur from heavy lifting, pulling, pushing, or even poor posture while sitting. To prevent these back pains, we explore the three most important methods for work-related back pain prevention.
Posture is Key
Sitting for long periods of time throughout the day can be trouble. In the moment, you may not notice you are either slouching or your shoulders are overhanging. However, after a period of time of repetitive behavior, you may risk being out for a couple weeks because of lower back pain!
When standing, balance your weight evenly on both feet. Slouching won’t help either. To promote good posture while sitting, make sure to sit in a chair that supports your spinal curves. Remove anything from your back pocket while sitting. This may be your wallet, keys, or even cellphones.
Lift Properly and Safely
When attempting to lift and carry heavy objects, lift with your legs, not your back. Tighten your core muscles before you lift. Bending over to lift with your back will risk lower back injury, which can put you out of commission for months on end!
A big mistake many make is twisting when lifting; avoid this if possible! This will strain our spinal cord, and if the object is too heavy, you may risk having a dislocated disc and other work-related back pain.
Modify Your Workstations
If you are constantly sitting at your job, make sure to get up and walk around every few hours. Your chair height must be at the height that allows for you to plant both feet on the ground, while your back is set against the back of the chair. The general rule is to be able to plant both feet on the ground, or footrest, to support and hold up your back.
In general, the best treatment is to be active outside of work. While you may be sitting all day and feeling tired at the end, an alternative is to get some early exercise in. The longer you are immobile throughout the day, the weaker your back muscles will become.