Back Pain at Work: Preventing Pain and Injury

Back Pain at Work: Preventing Pain and Injury

Are you suffering from back pain at work? Do you come home after work every day and still have an aching feeling that just will not go away? If so, you need to make some serious adjustments to your routine at work to eliminate your back pain problems or prevent future injuries from occurring.

From sitting at a desk all day to continually engaging in repetitive motions to lifting heavy objects, your back goes through a lot of strain and torment throughout the day. Five days per week with an average of an eight-hour workout can really add up to some serious pain and injury if not prevented and treated properly.

In this article, we will explore the most common causes of back pain at work, what lifestyle factors play a further role in pain and injury, and how you can prevent future back issues at work both during the workday and when you get home at night.

Causes of Back Pain at Work

nurse helping a patient

There can be a few different causes of back pain at work depending on the type of job you work.

  • Lifting heavy and forcefully

  • Repetitive work

  • Sitting too much and not moving around enough

If you are lifting heavy items or exerting a lot of force and energy, you will likely hurt your back at one point or another. Lifting too much or lifting improperly can cause back injury or chronic back pain.

If you have a job that requires a lot of repetition, this could be a cause of back pain and back injury as well. If you have a job that is tedious and requires the same movements every day, like twisting and rotating your spine a lot, it will cause back issues in the long run, but also in the short term.

You may also be surprised to learn that sitting too much and remaining inactive for too long could also cause a significant amount of back pain. If you work a desk job, sitting for a long time puts a lot of pressure on your lower back and spine. It is also quite likely that your posture during the day is less than stellar. Rounded shoulders, hunching forward, and a rounded spine can injure your back and your neck.

Lifestyle Issues to Further Back Pain from Work

If you are overweight and do not get any or enough regular exercise, you can increase the amount and intensity of injury and back pain you feel. Carrying around extra weight can put a lot of pressure on your back and spine, increasing pain or making pain persistent.

Not getting enough exercise is a common culprit as well. When you are not active your back never has a chance to stretch or strengthen the muscles in the back. A strong back will help you have better posture, sit straighter, and have an easier time lifting heavy objects and performing repetitive motions at work.

Preventing Pain and Injury at Work

Here are a few good ideas that can prevent pain and injury of the back at work:

  • Always pay attention to your posture, sitting, and standing.

  • Lift properly, lift with your legs, and do not hunch your back when picking something up.

  • Make repetitive tasks less repetitive (hold the phone in different positions, take breaks typing, make sure your computer, mouse, and keyboard are in a comfortable and proper position.)

  • If sitting a lot, get up, stretch, and walk around the office every hour, even if it is only for a minute or two.

You always need to make sure you are staying connected to your body and listening to it. If you are sitting and it hurts to move, this is your body's way of telling you something is wrong and whatever you are doing at the moment is not right.

When this happens, it is important to observe what you are doing and modify your movement or position until you are more comfortable.

When Do-it-Yourself is Not Enough

doctor helping a patient

Unfortunately, there are times when taking care of your back is not enough. When this happens, seeking professional help is imperative. If you continue to work with an injured back and bad back pain, you are going to do even more damage.

Oftentimes, seeing a massage therapist or a chiropractor will be just what you need to eliminate your back pain or help work through an injury.

Spinal manipulations can help relieve pressure from the spine and the surrounding areas of the back. Relief of the tension can have almost instant impacts and you can feel the beneficial effects for days to weeks.

The great benefit of spinal manipulations is there are rarely any side effects. Surgery and medications for back pain and some injuries can leave you with a wide range of negative impacts on the body. Many medications come with heaps of undesirable side effects and may not be worth the risk of the side effects. Surgery is often a last-ditch effort and should never be used as a first treatment option.

Surgery on the back is serious and can leave you at home on bed rest for many weeks, if not months, at a time. Surgery is costly and will make you miss work for a long recovery time. Since surgery and medications come with a serious cost, options like chiropractic care are ideal for those who are seeking mild to moderate relief and do not want to seek relief from conventional medicine options.

Final Thoughts

Back pain and injury from work can be tricky. Most of the time you cannot change what you are doing at work to get relief from your back pain, so it is imperative you find ways to adjust what you are doing at work, so your body does not continue to suffer.

Sitting with better posture, making sure you are lifting properly, and breaking up and adjusting repetitive motions is the key to your success.

When all else fails, speak to a holistic doctor or your local chiropractor for help.


About Dr. Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and he is widely considered one of the best Anchorage chiropractors. His practice has treated thousands of patients with different health problems using various services designed to help give you long-lasting relief.

Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.