Back pain is one of the most common work-related illnesses. Whether you work in an office, or you carry out manual labour, these tips will help to keep back pain at bay.
Focus on your posture
Poor posture is a leading cause of chronic back pain. If you spend long periods sat at a desk or standing, good posture is essential. Sitting or standing in the wrong position increase strain on your back muscles and elevates the risk of pain and swelling. If you’re sitting down, push your shoulders back and ensure that your spine is straight. If you are standing, try not to slump and keep your head held high.
If you have an office job, make sure you have a chair, which offers lumbar support. Padding at the base of the chair provides protection for the lower vertebrae and decreases the risk of lower back pain. Your desk should be at a suitable height. You should be able to type without reaching or stretching. If your desk is too high or too low, adjust your chair.
Lifting and handling injuries are common contributors to both acute and long-term back pain. When lifting, always adopt the correct position. Keep your back straight and your knees slightly bent. Push from your legs and avoid lifting anything, which is too heavy. If you are moving heavy objects, use appropriate equipment or machinery. If your job involves lifting on a regular basis, your employer should ensure that you have the relevant training.
Seek medical advice
If you experience back pain on a regular basis, don’t suffer in silence. Tell your boss so that they can take steps to help you feel more comfortable. Call and arrange an appointment with your doctor. There are various treatment options available for back pain. Examples include medication, self-help technique, osteopathy and surgery. Your doctor may also be able to recommend quality back posture braces to help you sit straight at your desk.
Take regular breaks
It may seem like easy work sitting down at a desk for hours on end. However, being in the same position for a prolonged period actually increases muscle tension. Take care to include regular breaks during the day and have a walk around. Stretch your back out by reaching up tall and then bringing your arms back down to waist level.
Exercising can be beneficial for building strength in your back muscles and conditioning your body. If you already suffer from back pain, ask your doctor or a personal trainer for advice about which types of exercise to try. Some activities may not be suitable, as they carry a high risk of injury. Swimming is often a popular choice for those with struggle with a bad back.
Back pain can make work miserable. Follow these simple steps to reduce your risk of injury and don’t hesitate to seek medical advice if your pain is getting worse. You should also talk to your employer to see if additional measures can be taken to prevent further discomfort.