Back pain is responsible for about one-third of disability arising from occupational risk factors worldwide according to a study published by the Global Burden of Disease. Back pain is also one of the leading causes of people missing work and the second most common reason for doctor visits. No matter what kind of back pain a person is experiencing, whether it’s a consistent dull ache or a sharp stabbing sensation, it makes concentrating on your job hard and performing physical tasks become impossible.
The common causes of back pain at work are force, repetition, and inactivity. Exerting too much force on your back while lifting or moving heavy objects can cause your back great strain that could lead to back pain or injury. Repetitive movements can also injure your back; constant twisting and rotation of your spine can hurt your back, even if the action is not too severe. Sitting in a chair for eight hours straight can also contribute to back pain, especially if you have poor posture or if the chair you’re sitting on doesn’t provide the proper support for your back.
Other factors that contribute to back pain are aging, weight, and physical conditions. Although there is nothing you can do to stop the hands of time and control your age, you can still regulate your weight and physical conditions. Maintaining a healthy weight lessens the stress on your back. A healthy dose of calcium and vitamin D in your diet can help prevent osteoporosis, a disease which deteriorates a person’s bone strength, minimizing the risk of bone fracture.
You can file a claim on your workers’ compensation insurance for back pain, just as long as the causal factor of the pain is related to your job. The best way for you to be able to file a claim is to get a doctor to evaluate your situation. However, this doesn’t mean that your claim will automatically be honored by your employer or their insurance company right away since back pain claims are hard to prove.
It’s still best to avoid back pain altogether. Here are some tips to help prevent back pain because of work:
1. Posture. – Whether you’re at work or anywhere else, it’s best to maintain proper posture to relieve some pressure on your back. When you’re standing, distribute your body weight evenly on your feet. Avoid slouching. While sitting down, adjust your chair. Make sure that your feet rest flat on the floor, and your thighs are parallel to them. Remove objects from your back pocket to make sure that your buttocks are on the same level as your back.
2. Lift the right way. – When lifting heavy objects make sure that you put the weight on your legs and not on your back. Use your core muscles and hold the object close to your body. Keep the natural curve of your back and do not twist your spine. If you cannot carry the item properly by yourself, ask a co-worker for assistance.
3. Give repetitive tasks a twist. – You should take a break whenever you’re doing repetitive tasks for the whole day. Set a time limit for each work and take a break whenever you finish a set; even if your job requires you to sit for the whole day, take a few minutes to walk around or change your sitting position every once in a while. Alternate between tasks to make sure that your back does not suffer too much strain.
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