Tattoo Artists And Back Pain

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 1, 2017

Tattoo Artists Back Pain

When we think of jobs that are taxing on the spine, you probably imagine a construction worker or a nurse who needs to be on her feet for hours on end. While both of those industries have higher rates of back pain, new research from Ohio State University revealed that tattoo artists also suffer from back pain at a higher rate than the average worker.

Back Pain While Tattooing

The tattoo industry has been booming of late, and the $2.3 billion industry is expected to grow by at least 13 percent in 2017. This means more jobs will be opening up for tattoo artists, but these individuals don’t always have access to workers’ compensation. This is problematic, especially when you consider the high reported rates of back and neck pain in the industry.

According to researchers at Ohio State University, tattoo artists suffer more spine and neck problems than the average worker. For their study, researchers hooked tattoo artists up to special machines that measured muscle activity while they worked. The machines measured muscle activity every three minutes for a period of 15 seconds for the duration of the tattooing session. Additionally, researchers took a picture of the tattoo artist’s body position every five minutes in order to document position and posture.

Study Results

After looking at the data, researchers uncovered:

  • Tattoo artists often exceeded the maximums of recommendations implemented to avoid injuries to the neck and upper back.
  • Tattoo artists are 25 percent more likely to develop neck and back pain than the average worker.
  • Often perched on low stools, researchers say the artist’s position on the stool and the position they work in to administer the tattoo contribute to higher rates of back and neck pain.

Researchers recommended that tattoo artists invest in a comfortable and supportive chair in lieu of a wooden stool, and that they take breaks and change positions during tattooing sessions. There are also benefits to taking a moment to stretch your back and neck before, during and after a session to help keep muscles loose and facilitate healthy blood flow in your back.

Minnesota Back Pain Doctor

So if you’re a tattoo artist, or your job just stresses your back on a daily basis, consider setting up an appointment with Dr. Sinicropi and his team today.

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