Persistent back pain can make it impossible to focus when at work. It can also make it impossible to actually complete your tasks. Unfortunately, many industries put a lot of strain on the back, increasing the chances of workers suffering from a range of issues, including minor aches to severe injury. Whether minor or severe, though, back pain is not something anyone wants. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid it, thereby helping to make your job safer and more enjoyable for you.
What causes back pain?
There are many things that can lead to back pain. The most common sources of back pain are:
- lifting loads that are too heavy
- lifting loads or items improperly
- repeating improper movements over and over; by doing movements repetitively, you can cause inflammation to your joints and tendons, contributing to your risk of developing tendonitis or bursitis.
If you think something else is causing your back pain at work, take some time to evaluate that possibility as well. Once you understand what is causing your pain, you can usually easily change your actions or work with your employer to ensure you aren’t inflicting that pain upon yourself.
How can you avoid causing pain?
If you find that improper lifting, posture or other bad habits are the cause of your back pain, you can get to work on addressing this issue by doing the following:
Keep your body in good shape.
By incorporating strength building exercises into your daily routine, you can train your body to better handle the force of lifting heavy objects. The tricks you pick up at the gym will also come in handy at work. Before lifting an object on the job, you should warm your body up with some stretches. This will increase your flexibility, your range of motion and your ability to lift and carry objects in the moment. These stretches
are not only good to perform before strenuous activity, but also after, to help keep your muscles in good form.
Pay attention to your posture before you begin lifting
. Bad posture is a common cause of back pain. Keeping your back straight and your head up will prevent you from arching your back which can cause injury. You should also avoid twisting while lifting, which can strain the back. Additionally, ifpossible, start with the object between your feet
so that you won’t have to reach in order to lift the object. Finally, always keep the load close to your waist while lifting. This lessens the force placed on your back which lessens the possibility of injury.
Take frequent, short breaks in between activity.
Taking short and frequent breaks is better for your muscles than resting for longer periods of time. This is because your body needs some time to recuperate after lifting heavy things. By giving your muscles more opportunities to recover, you’ll be better able to lift more heavy objects.
While you may think these steps are too much hassle, remember that back pain is a common ailment in every industry, even office workers. That means these tricks are appropriate for any worker, in any industry. By preparing yourself beforehand and exhibiting proper technique, you can prevent serious injuries. (And remember, no matter where you work, the most important thing you can do is to listen to your body. If you notice discomfort, address it immediately to determine what the problem is and fix it before it can cause a serious problem.)