Many workers compensation claims stem from back injuries sustained on the job. Lower back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries causing back pain are a common occurrence in the workplace. In fact, back injuries make up nearly 20% of all workplace-related injuries. They can occur in any industry, and the majority of them can be prevented. You can avoid the hassle of claims and the pain of injuries by following some basic guidelines to back health:
1) Get proper workplace training. If your job requires moving, lifting, or other heavy work, make sure that you get the training that teaches you exactly how to do these tasks without getting injured. Get retrained regularly to ensure that these techniques remain fresh in your mind.
2) Get regular exercise. Regular exercise, especially training of your abdominal back muscles, can help make your back stronger and can prevent back injuries. Also, train to make sure that your hips and hamstrings remain strong. This can also help prevent back injuries.
3) Wear proper work clothes. Wear no-slip shoes that will help prevent back accidents caused by slip and fall accidents. Make sure that your shoes are low heeled and that your clothes fit correctly and are comfortable. If you are required by your job to wear a uniform or work clothing issued by or place of employment, make sure that your clothing is well-fitted and in good condition. If it is not, ask for placement.
4) Quit smoking. Studies have shown that smokers have weaker spines, probably because smoking and the ingredients in cigarettes reduce blood flow to the spinal area. Smoking can also decrease the density of your bones, making you more susceptible to some types of injuries, including back injuries.
5) Practice good posture. Good posture ensures that your spine is in correct alignment and ready for tasks. When you work at your desk, keep your spine and your back straight so that you are less likely to sustain repetitive stress injuries. During the night, while you sleep, make sure that you continue your good posture by sleeping on a firm mattress.
6) Speak with your doctor if you have a job that puts a lot of strain on your back. If you have a job that requires lifting, moving, or sitting still for long periods of time at a desk, speak with your physician about ways to reduce possible stress and strain on your back. Your physician may be able to prescribe certain exercises or preventative measures that can help you avoid a back injury.
7) Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts additional strain on all of your bones, including your spine. Additional weight can also throw your body out of balance, making you more susceptible to some types of injuries. Excess weight has also been shown to place additional strain on the back, causing back pain and other problems.