Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 5, 2018
Whether you sit at a computer or move sheet rock for a living, every job presents dangers to a person’s spine. Considering that more than 80 percent of adult workers say they’ve dealt with spine pain at some point in their life, it stands to reason that your job can play a significant role in the health of your back. Today, we want to share ten tips for protecting your spine that should be relevant no matter what industry you work in.
Whether you’re sitting at a desk or swinging a hammer, take a look at your posture. Are you leaning forward or craning your neck? If so, you’re putting excessive strain on the cervical portion of your spine. Focus on always having good posture.
Lift With Your Knees
When performing a lift, make sure you bend at the knees, not at your spine. If you lift from the spine, you’re going to put a lot of stress on it, which leaves you susceptible to strains and sprains.
Similarly, if you have to lift a heavy object, ask another co-worker to help you perform the lift. Trying to lift something that is too heavy can result in muscle strains or herniated spinal discs.
Whether you’re replacing a light bulb over your cubicle or working on a scaffold, be sure you take appropriate precautions when working from heights. Use proper safety gear, have someone hold the ladder for support, and never lean off your ladder to try and reach something that could cause you to lose your balance.
Consider using supportive devices like a back brace. These can help to provide extra stability or shift your posture into the right position when you’re seated or moving around. Ask Dr. Sinicropi what support might be best for your job.
Your shoes play a big role in the health of your spine. Make sure you invest in quality shoes that are comfortable and have the appropriate arch support. Orthopedic insoles can help provide extra cushioning and support if needed.
No matter what job you have, it’s important to work in some breaks. You might not be able to take a full out break every hour, but look at your schedule and try to break up long stretches of sitting or lifting. Be creative in finding ways to give your spine a break.
Some workers lose more fluids throughout the day than others, but it’s still important that everyone stays hydrated throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps to promote healthy blood flow and can prevent against back spasms and muscle cramps.
It can be easy to snack at your desk or stop for fast food on the way back from the job site, but unhealthy eating can contribute to the onset of inflammation in the spine. This can put pressure on nerves or bone spurs, leading to pain.
Stop If Pain Develops
If spine pain sets in, or you suffer an acute back injury, don’t just try to power through the pain, because that can make it much worse. Report the injury to your boss and seek out medical treatment. Don’t let a minor injury turn into a major issue because you tried to work through the pain.