According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries make up about 20% of all workplace injuries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor advises that these occupations cause the most injuries and back pain:
- Construction Workers
- Nurses and Other Health Care Providers
- Office Workers
- Manual Laborers
- Dentists and Dental Hygienists
- Warehouse and Distribution Workers
- Auto Mechanics
- Factory Workers
- Public Service Officials-such as Police, Officers, Firefighters, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
- Child Care Workers
How These Jobs Can Cause Strain and Back Pain
These jobs are jobs that cause stress on the back. The reasons vary. For example:
- Drivers sit in the same position for long stretches of time
- Construction workers, manual laborers, and factory workers lift very heavy objects, do a lot of bending and stretching to reach, and are on their feet for long hours
- Healthcare workers, doctors, surgeons, dentists, and dental workers spend a lot of time bent over, and some healthcare workers lift and move patients
- Mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and other trade workers lift heavy machinery and parts as well as contort themselves into positions to work under, over, and in vehicles
- For office workers, sitting in one position for long periods and slumping over a computer makes for a lot of back strain and pain
- Landscapers carry heavy objects and engage in repetitive movements
- Teachers and childcare workers are on their feet most of the day and some may be picking up and carrying children
From this list, you can see that almost every profession has some element of their job that can result in back pain. The key is to know how to lift, move, and take breaks to minimize the strain on the spine and back. Some of the pain comes from muscle strain and some from pressure on the spine. How do you know when back pain has moved into chronic or acute back pain?
Acute Versus Chronic Back Pain
Let’s first talk about acute back pain. If you have ever had back pain, you know there is nothing “cute” about it. Sudden injury or strain on muscles and ligaments supporting the back often causes acute pain. In addition, misalignment and pressure on the spine from an accident also cause back pain.
Many occupations are more susceptible to accidents and acute back pain. It can be serious and severe, and you will realize right away that you have injured yourself. This kind of back problem can last from a few days to up to four weeks or more. It’s common when acute pain left unaddressed and treated could become chronic back pain.
Chronic back pain can be the result of continuing acute back pain that lasts 12 weeks or longer.
If back pain becomes chronic and permanent, it affects every aspect of your life. In other words, everything you do, from family activities, and work, to your leisure activities, chronic back pain is a huge weight to carry that drags you down. In any event, as chiropractors, we know how to treat acute and chronic back pain so it impacts your life and lifestyle as little as possible.
Prevention Is Key
The best treatment for back pain is to be proactive and prevent it. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic here are some great tips to help prevent possible injury and back pain:
- Focus on Your Posture – Sitting up straight with your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest and finding a chair that supports your lower back prevents a lot of strain
- Lift Properly – Learn to lift properly. Lifting with your knees and using your leg muscles works!
- Modify Repetitive Tasks – There are innovative advances every day that help to break up or replace repetitive tasks. If you can’t replace a task with technology, be aware and take breaks or modify the pattern of repetition.
The best tip: Listen to your body.
You can feel it when your back is getting stiff and weary. In the first place, pay attention to that signal and take a break. Certainly, gentle stretches counteract a stiff posture, and taking a walk gets the blood flowing back to the muscles. To point out, with the potential of this pain that restricts your life, get into self-care, and take whatever steps necessary to train yourself to manage the potential stressors in your job. Of course, on the job, some consider it taking safety precautions, and while that is true, it is also the best way to stay healthy and pain-free! Moreover, another proactive step is working with a chiropractor on a regular maintenance program.
A Good Combination of Being Proactive and Reactive
Living and working proactively does not mean 100% prevention. Regardless, accidents happen. Without a doubt, we get in a hurry. when our energy flags, we cut corners. Generally speaking, we are human, after all. However, if the day comes when you are faced with back pain, acute or chronic, talking with a chiropractor is the best first step. After all, it is the least invasive treatment available. Don’t wait, given that often back pain just keeps getting worse. Here at Spinal Logic Chiropractic, we can help you safely maneuver work and provide therapeutic services to keep you on your feet.
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.