Simple Strategies To Avoid Work Related Back Pain

Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, and is also the leading contributor to missed work. Repetitive or heavy lifting results in compression to the low back area, often resulting in pain.

But a substantial amount of pain and injury can be avoided by using proper lifting techniques and/or wearing back supports. Use these following tips to sidestep work-related back pain.
Proper Lifting

  • Examine the object for awkward or slippery spots, sharp corners or other potential dangers.
  • Stand as close to the object as possible. Spread your feet shoulder width apart with one foot slightly in front of the other to maintain balance.
  • Squat bending at the knees instead of the waist. Tuck your chin while keeping your back as straight as possible.
  • Grasp the object firmly before starting to lift.
  • Slowly straighten legs without twisting the body.
  • Once the lift is complete, keep the object as close as possible to the body since the farther away the object's center of gravity, the greater the stress on the lower back.
  • Ask for help if you cannot lift the object alone or, if possible, break down the load to make lifting more manageable.
  • If it is necessary to turn holding the object, use your feet instead of your torso. Additionally, if you must put the object down below waist level, follow the same procedure in reverse.  Keep in mind that your back should be as vertical as possible while bending at the knees.
Neoprene Back Supports

Many workers find back supports invaluable in preventing injuries or helping with current injuries on the job. Neoprene material provides support while still enabling the wearer to maintain ease of movement. It also helps to retain body heat and increase circulation which can promote healing for an existing back injury.