More than half of the estimated $60 billion lost annually from reduced productivity comes from some type of back pain. Some of these instances of back pain result from ignoring job-related risks. While all work-related back injuries can’t be prevented, being aware of the risks can encourage employees to take steps to reduce the odds of sustaining an injury.
A common cause of work-related back pain is muscle strain. Pain of this nature can range from mild to severe if related inflammation causes pressure on adjacent nerves. Back-related muscle strain at work can be caused by:
- Sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time
- Repetitious movements involving the same muscle groups
- Constant strains and pulls through various movements
If your job is high in stress, it may take a toll on your back over time. If you do sustain an injury, muscle tension from stress can make it worse. While you can’t always avoid stress at work, making an effort to relax when off the job or developing effective coping mechanisms such as deep breathing can help.
Not Taking Sufficient Breaks
Even if you’re taking proper precautions, carrying out duties that place extra strain on your spine and supporting muscles can increase the risk of sustaining an injury. Make sure your employer is adhering to OSHA standards and any guidelines specific to your line of work, especially those that pertain to required rest periods and breaks.
Ignoring Health Issues
If you have existing health risks such as weight issues and conditions like high blood pressure, taking on extra work-related duties may increase your back injury risk. Odds of sustaining an injury as you’re given added duties can be reduced by making an effort to manage your weight, adjust your diet, and get regular exercise.
Work-related back pain can be minimized by making an effort to get up and walk around more, learning proper lifting techniques, using support equipment like dollies and wheeled carts, and knowing when to ask for assistance from a co-worker. If you do experience sudden or worsening pain, make an appointment with a board-certified spine physician in Los Angeles.
If back pain is disrupting everyday life, it may be time to reach out to The Spine Institute, a leading Los Angeles spine surgery center. Our team of conservative spine specialists can evaluate your unique symptoms and help determine the right treatment to fit your individual needs. For more information, call (310) 828-7757 today.