Whether a person works in an office, hospital or on a construction site, back pain can have a major impact on their career. Knowing the true source of back pain will ensure support through all of life’s heavy lifting.
There are four main causes of back pain at work: staying still too long, repetitive movements, heavy lifting and fatigue.
1. Prolonged sitting or standing is one of the back’s worst enemies. A person’s body doesn’t like to stand or sit in one position more than about 20 minutes, yet most office workers sit at their desks for hours at a time. The solution is simple. Whether sitting in an office chair or standing in a line, change positions frequently. Just move. Stand or sit, stretch, take a short walk. A person’s joints, as well as their back, will respond positively to the change.
2. Repetitive movements can bind the joints. Like jobs that require sitting for a long time in an office chair, jobs that require frequent repetitive motion can also cause discomfort. Any job that requires heavy lifting, overhead lifting or repetitive twisting may lead to a future back injury. Change position as often as possible.
3. Heavy lifting is one of the top causes of back injuries on the job. Remember to use the correct tools at all times to minimize stress on the body.
4. Fatigue can be caused by sitting or standing in the same position for too long, but it can also be caused by outside sources and exacerbated at work. If a person begins to feel overworked or fatigued, getting some rest and avoiding lifting heavy objects will help. When fatigued, the stress on a back is increased and could cause an injury.
There are simple remedies to easing or avoiding back pain at work.
Mother was right. To look best and put the least amount of stress on a back, stand or sit straight up. Many people stand in a swayback position and sit with a slouch, which exaggerates a back’s natural curves and can lead to fatigue and injury. Good posture relaxes muscles and requires minimal effort to balance the body.
The feeling of being stressed out or anxious at work causes muscles to tense, leading to possible injury. And the more stress a person feels, the lower their tolerance for pain. Try to minimize the sources of stress both on the job and at home. When the body begins to feel stressed, try a few deep-breathing exercises, take a walk around the block or talk about frustrations with a trusted friend.
Yoga or pilates classes can be a great remedy for back pain. The classes will strengthen core muscles that support the back as well as teach breathing exercises and appropriate stretching. Of course, consult a doctor to find out whether certain forms of exercise will cause additional stress on the back.
A person’s back is one of the most important parts of their body. When it is healthy and strong, so are they. Make the commitment to give it the support it deserves!