Back Pain in the Workplace
You probably have been experiencing low back pain for some weeks now, and you’ve been popping painkillers and rubbing some over-the-counter mentholatum every morning after your bath and also at night after your shower and just before bedtime. But still, it doesn’t appear to resolve but rather is getting worse, and is affecting work. You get tired easily, you can’t lift objects as easily as before without wincing in pain and you sitting down to catch your breath.
Now, this article would address direct causes of low back pain and how simple lifestyle and work modifications would resolve the pain without much dependence on pain meds or soft pain gels.
Firstly, it has been established in journals of spine surgery that most causes of low back pain are work-related, especially in settings where the subject has to lift heavy objects or sit for long hours.
However, this can be prevented if there’s regular back or spine hygiene.
Most people don’t know this and that’s why the susceptibility to low back pain.
Spine hygiene refers to regular exercises, stretching, and relaxation techniques engineered towards the prevention of spinal degeneration. Such exercises include trunk rotation stretch, child’s pose, Hamstring stretch, etc.
Another important PREVENTABLE cause of Low back pain is improper lifting techniques.
This then leads to muscle injury, disc injury, and also joint injuries.
However, proper knowledge of lifting (moving and handling) techniques would help improve back hygiene and reduce or eliminate back pain.
To lift objects from the ground, squat until the hip joint is almost at the same level or slightly below that of the knee joint, then the weight or object is slowly but securely grasped, and the body is also lifted from the legs to the waist and then fully up. To set down the load as well, the body should squat sufficiently close to the ground to avoid back twisting.
Still about the workplace being the major culprit for low back pain of a seemingly unknown origin, sitting for long hours or having poor ergonomic settings in the workplace is the bad guy. Yeah, nailed.
If anyone has a job that requires him or her to sit for long hours, then that’s an open invitation to back pain.
Hence, to combat this is one simple technique. Yes. Avoid sitting for long periods. That’s it.
Switch between sitting and standing regularly throughout the day.
Also, one can develop the habit of getting up from the work desk regularly, and some ideas to do this include: Walking to colleague’s offices, instead of emailing or calling them, developing the habit of wanting to drink lots of water so there’s the need to go to the bathroom more often, and also creating a “work off 25/5” principle. Here, one works hard for 25 minutes, with no distractions, with the focus entirely on the task at hand. Then, a 5-minute break follows whereby one physically gets up from the desk and moves around.
Also, sitting at the desk for long periods may not only cause back pain, but also neck pain, and in people whose work description involves them making repetitive movements with their wrists, like typists, can also suffer compression to the nerves in the hands, in a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Conclusively, it is advised that one pays periodic visits to a physiotherapist, who is a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders. These guys help to reduce pain and improve the functionality of people with low back pain issues and they also do well to educate such people on how they can account for their own health via exercise, proper ergonomics, and other therapies to treat back pain, and associated Repetitive Strain Injury.
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