As we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, we have to cognizant of any patterns or behaviors that could lead to short-term or long-term strain to the back or neck.
Work routines can vary or be extremely repetitive.
For those that work in a very repetitive role, something as simple as how you sit could lead to serious pain in the neck or back, misalignment of the spine or lower back weakness.
Creating ergonomic work habits is the best way to prevent both minor and more severe work-related back injuries and neck injuries.
Work-Related Back Injury
Whether you are sitting, standing or walking around all day, work creates a lot of stress and strain on your back.
If poor posture or back support is left unchecked, it can lead to strains, sprains or chronic pains.
Workers can prevent the majority of these work-related injuries by paying attention to what their bodies are telling them. Workers with desk jobs should always sit up straight with their bodies as perpendicular as possible to their monitor or paperwork. Elbows should be kept tight and feet firmly planted on the ground. This ensures that nobody parts are unnaturally twisted or unsupported.
For those that work on their feet, the same erectness is equally necessary to support the spine.
It is also important for employees to not lock their knees so that they can utilize their legs and not place as much weight on their low backs.
All employees should always use proper form when lifting by bending from the knees with their chests forward to again exploit their much stronger leg muscles instead of their lower backs.
The last, and potentially most important, tip on preventing back injuries at work is to listen to what your body is telling you. If something doesn’t feel right or even hurts, don’t do it or find a better way to perform that task.
If you are already experiencing moderate to severe back pain, treatment options are fairly straightforward. Follow the prevention steps to avoid further injury and be extra cautious when using your back. You can hasten the recovery process with adequate rest, ice and heat for pain management and inflammation reduction and physical therapy (stretching and exercise) to regain strength and mobility in the affected areas. For those involved in a work-related accident that experienced major trauma to their backs such as herniated or ruptured discs, they will need to see an orthopedic surgeon immediately for treatment.
Work-Related Neck Pain
Much like back pain at work, work-related neck pain is a result of weeks, maybe even years, of improper posture or awkward positioning. The best way to avoid neck pain is by modifying your workday to better suit your health and wellness needs. A proper workstation that allows you to sit up straight while performing your daily routine will keep your neck strong and pain-free.
Those suffering from work-related neck injuries or pain are advised to utilize a combination of ice and heat to reduce inflammation and increase mobility while performing stretches and exercises that will help with strength and flexibility.
If any of your work-related injuries are severe or persistent, contact All-Pro Orthopedics to consult with one of our expert orthopedic surgeons today!