How to Reduce Back Pain at Work

By October 11, 2021Uncategorized

October 11, 2021

Back problems can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. Often times, back pain is the result of an everyday activity done incorrectly. These common activities consist of anything from sitting at a computer in the same position for hours, carrying luggage, heavy lifting, golfing, etc.

Four out of five people have experienced back issues, making it the second most common reason for visiting the doctor. Employers must make their employees aware of what back problems commonly stem from and what preventative methods you can take to lessen the pain you’re experiencing. Additionally, employers should always prioritize workplace safety and enforce safe practices. These simple strategies are highly effective at preventing back pain and keeping it from returning : 

Exercise : It may sound weird to recommend exercise when you are in pain from a back injury. Most would assume that the best way to heal is to rest and limit physical activity. Frankly, it turns out to be the opposite. Rest is always beneficial to help the body recover and gain it’s strength back. However, the quickest route to easing back pain is to actually do some physical activity. Experts recommend regularly fitting some working out into your schedule because it can help ease inflammation and muscle tension. However, it is important to be smart – don’t go out there and try to break your lifting record. Baby steps and taking it light is your best bet (at least when you are first starting). Good workouts to try are walking, swimming, and biking. Swimming is super helpful to try because the water supports your body, which takes a lot of pressure of your muscles and joints. 

Watch your weight : Being overweight can make back pain worse for the fact that is shifts your center of gravity and puts strain on your lower back. A mix of exercise and a healthy diet is important to keep your body in check. Exercise is recommended at least three times per week as well as watching what you eat. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, dairy products, and whole grains will jeep you on track.

Stop Smoking : It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health for a variety of reasons. However, It’s not common knowledge that smoking could have any sort of impact on your back. When we think of the side effects of smoking, the first couple of things that comes to mind are usually cancer, heart disease, or lung disease. However, back pain is in fact another side effect of smoking. Here’s why : smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-containing blood to spinal discs, so smokers are especially vulnerable to back pain. 

Sleeping Position : Do you ever wake up in the morning and just instantly feel sore? It probably has a lot to do with the way you position yourself, your mattress, and what pillow you use. Everyone is different when it comes to their sleep preferences. Talk to your doctor about the best sleep positions if you find you are constantly sore in the morning. Sleeping on your stomach can be especially hard on your back. You also don’t want to sleep flat on your back. The best position to sleep in is on your side. Getting enough sleep is so crucial for your mental health and productivity the next day. 

Be aware of your Posture : The best chairs for preventing back pain is one that has a straight back. If you have a desk job that requires you to sit all day, it’s super important that the chair you are sitting in is comfortable and supportive. Make sure you rest your back against the chair and don’t sit hunched over your desk. Also, try to get up and take breaks from sitting every so often. 

Be Careful Lifting Heavy Objects : When lifting heavy objects, your form is super crucial. You can risk a very serious injury if you try to lift something heavy with poor form. If something is too heavy for you to handle on your own, ask for help.

Here are some tips for lifting heavy objects to prevent a painful back injury :

  • Keep your feet a shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other 
  • Squat down, bending the hips and knees only.
  • Keep good posture. Look straight ahead, keep your back straight, chest out, and shoulders back. This helps keep your upper back straight while having a slight arch in your lower back. 
  • Lift slowly by straightening your hips and knees (not your back). Don’t twist when you lift and  keep your back straight.
  • Hold the object as close to your body as possible 
  • Lead with your hips as you change direction and keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move.
  • Set down your load carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only 

DO NOT :

  • Attempt to lift by bending forward. 
  • Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level
  • Avoid turning or twisting your body while lifting or holding a heavy object 

Reduce Stress : It’s inevitable that one will stress about something in their life. Financial issues, relationships, work, and much more are very common causes to create stress. You probably wouldn’t consider stress to be something that can cause you to have back pain since it happens internally, so many think it only impacts you mentally, but not physically. However, this is not the case – stress does have a physical consequence and plays a big role on your back health. Stress causes you to tense your muscles, and constant tension of this kind can cause back pain. Back pain and stress go hand and hand. Any activity that will help you reduce stress will help you prevent back pain.

Stress also is dependent on the kind of person you are. If you find yourself as the type of person who goes with the flow and handles challenges day by day, then you probably don’t experience too much stress. On the other hand, if you get easily stressed and overwhelmed over small things, your back may pay the price. Working out is a healthy way to manage stress and help control your emotions from taking over you. In addition, meditation, going for a walk, yoga and much more are all great coping mechanisms to help manage stress. In order to be your best, you have to feel your best. Stress is very draining to both your mental and your physical health. Knowing how to control stress will help you be a more productive person. Talk to your doctor if you think stress is getting in the way of your life and holding you back from being your full potential.

If you have recently suffered a back injury at work or any other work-related injury, please contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. We will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. 

Article Adapted from : 

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tips-for-pain-relief

https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/back-pain/quick-tips-to-help-prevent-back-pain.aspx

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=hw206944