Back pain is a problem that millions of Americans experience each year. From stabbing pain to dull aches, and from the low back to the mid-back, back pain is not only difficult to cope with, it also makes it difficult to perform well at work. Whether you actively use your back in a field like construction, or you are an office worker bound to a chair for most of the day, everyone can experience work-related back pain. In this blog, we will go over the causes of work-related back pain, and what you can do to prevent it.
Work-Related Back Pain Causes
Back pain at work can be caused by several different potential issues.
- Exertion: Jobs that require you to lift heavy objects can injure your back, which causes pain.
- Repetition: If your job requires repetitive motions (particularly if it involves twisting your back), your back may be injured.
- Inactivity: Office workers often develop back pain because of inactivity, as they will sit all day and often have poor posture.
Back Pain Prevention at Work
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent back pain when you’re at work.
Many of us tend to slump without even realizing it, which is horrible for our backs. Improving posture is a great first step towards relieving back pain at work. When standing, your weight should be evenly balanced between your feet. Stand tall as though there is a thread attached to the crown of your head that is pulling you up towards the sky. If you work in an office setting, consider investing in a chair that provides proper spine support. As you sit, make sure that you keep your feet flat on the floor, keeping your thighs parallel.
It’s easy to harm your back through improper lifting. If you are required to lift heavy objects for your job, it is important that you learn proper lifting techniques to prevent injury. When you are lifting something that is heavy, you should use your core and legs; never use your back. Additionally, do not twist your back; keep it completely straight. Don’t be too proud if it is too heavy to pick up by yourself; ask someone for help.
Back injuries also occur due to repetitive motion. If possible, alternate your tasks to prevent too frequent repetition. Additionally, modify these tasks to reduce your risk of injury. Don’t twist or bend if you don’t have to, and if you are an office worker, make sure that your keyboard, mouse, and monitor are all properly positioned for good posture. Instead of holding your phone between your ear and shoulder, invest in a headset.
Back Pain Prevention Through Lifestyle Changes
Just because you experience your back pain at work, doesn’t mean that its source is solely what you are doing during work hours. There are also some lifestyle factors that can contribute to back pain, such as inactivity, aging, and being overweight. Though aging in obviously unavoidable, you can address the other two issues by making some changes to your lifestyle.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Having good health overall reduces your chances of back pain, particularly if you focus on making sure you are getting the nutrients you need for your bone health. Make sure your diet is rich in vitamin D and calcium in order to keep your bones as healthy as possible. Foods that are rich in these minerals include oranges, black beans, poultry, spinach, broccoli, and kale.
Back pain is often due to inactivity. Additionally, if your core isn’t strong enough, it cannot properly support your spine, leading to back pain. Prioritize getting exercise at least three times a week. Combine aerobic exercise and strength training, particularly of your back muscles.
Finally, if you are a smoker who is experiencing back pain, now is the time to quit. Smoking reduces your blood flow, slowing the process of healing your back injury.
If you are experiencing back pain in Murfreesboro, come into Barfield Chiropractic today. We can help you with chiropractic adjustments. Contact us here!