Every year, millions of Americans experience back pain in their workplace. Whether it is a stabbing pain in your lower back or a dull ache in your mid-back, back pain makes it difficult to do your job well. Unfortunately, there are many professions that require a lot from your back, such as construction or factory workers. Even people who work in offices can be impacted by back pain. In this blog, we will go over some facts about back pain in the workplace so you can better understand what you can do to prevent and treat it.
Causes of back pain at work
There are several potential causes of back pain in the workplace.
- Exertion: If you have a job that requires you to lift heavy objects, it can cause injury to your back, resulting in back pain.
- Repetition: If you have to do a repetitive movement for your job, particularly if it involves twisting your spine, it can cause injury to your back.
- Inactivity: Many people with desk jobs have back pain from inactivity, particularly if they sit all day or have poor posture.
Preventing back pain at work
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent back pain when you’re at work.
Mind your posture
One of the best things you can do for your back is to improve your posture. When you are standing, keep your weight balanced evenly between your feet and stand up straight. If you have an office job, it is worth it to invest in a chair that will support your spine. When you sit, keep your keep flat on the floor so your thighs are parallel to the floor.
One of the leading causes of back injury is improper lifting. When you are lifting a heavy object, use your legs and core; never use your back. Keep your back straight; don’t twist it. If the object is too heavy to lift on your own, ask for help.
Change repetitive tasks
When you can, alternate your repetitive tasks with other, less demanding tasks. Additionally, modify them to reduce the potential for injury. Avoid any twisting or bending that is unnecessary, and if you work at a computer, make sure your monitor, keyboard, and mouse are positioned so you can use proper posture. Try using a headset when you need to make phone calls instead of holding the phone between your shoulder and ear while you talk.
Lifestyle changes to ease back pain
The back pain you experience at work can be caused by more than just the activities you do at work. Lifestyle factors also can contribute to the back pain you experience, such as being overweight, aging, and physical inactivity in your daily life. While no one can avoid aging (as much as they might try), there are changes you can make that could help your back pain. First, eat a healthy diet with plenty of vitamin D and calcium for bone health. Additionally, pair aerobic exercise with strength training that focuses on your back and core to increase balance and strength. Finally, if you smoke, take steps to quit. Smoking reduces blood flow, which can slow the healing process of back injuries.
If you suffer from back pain, come for a men’s physical from Men’s Vitality Center. We can help you identify the source of your pain and figure out the right treatment. Contact us today!