If you’re like most people, your job pus a large amount of stress on your back, even if you are confined to a desk job. Manual labor jobs can be even worse on your spine, which is why it’s so important to protect your spine when you’re on the job. Today, we share some common causes of spine pain at work, and we talk about some ways to keep your spine safe on the job.
Common Causes Of Spine Injury At Work
No matter what type of work you perform, if you suffer a spine injury at work, it’s probably due to one of these three causes:
Repetition – Your spine can perform a wide variety of movements, but it’s not designed to perform the same movements over and over and over again. Repetitive motions wears down spinal discs and tissues at a faster rate.
Force – If you put too much stress on your spine, it can lead to injury. Trying to lift too heavy of a box or using poor lifting techniques are common ways people suffer an acute force injury on the job.
Inactivity – Finally, injuries can also develop because inactivity leads to weakness in certain areas of your spine, especially if it is combined with poor posture.
Preventing Injuries In The Workplace
Here are some injury prevention strategies to protect against the three common causes of spine injury in the workplace.
Preventing Repetition Injuries – To protect against repetition injuries, try to switch up job duties if you work manual labor. Don’t always be the one on the jackhammer or who catches boxes handed down off a truck. If you have to perform the same movements over and over, invest in protective gear like a soft back brace to protect the spine. You’ll also benefit from stretching prior to activity, and performing spine strengthening exercises when you’re not at work.
Preventing Force Injuries – One of the easiest ways to prevent against force injuries is to always “work smarter, not harder.” Make sure you use proper lifting techniques, and if you have a heavy object, have two or more people perform the lift. Always follow safety procedures, and just like the above point, consider stretching before activity and practicing spinal strengthen exercises during your free time.
Preventing Inactivity Injuries – Inactivity injuries are often brought on by poor posture, so make it a point to be more aware of your posture. Position your head directly above your shoulders, and avoid slouching or leaning towards your computer screen. Consider investing in a supportive office chair or one that helps keep your spine in the right position, or better yet, invest in a sit-to-stand workstation that will allow you to stand while you work. Alternating between standing and sitting can help prevent certain areas from being overloaded with stress. If you can’t get a new workstation, find little ways to get on your feet throughout the day, like by taking phone calls standing up. As you might have guessed, spinal strength training outside of the office can also help ward off inactivity-related injuries in the workplace.
For more spine protection tips, reach out to Dr. Chang today!