5 Tips for Preventing On-the-Job Back Injuries

Back injuries, while not life-threatening, can be debilitating and lead to missed days at work.  According to the US Department of Labor, over 600,000 employees suffer from back disorders every year. Back injuries can be short-term or long-term issues, and they can be brought on by an accident or trauma or result from overuse.

The root of your injury can stem from muscles, tendons, discs, ligaments, or nerves. Work and lifestyle factors that can lead to back issues include:

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent back injuries and avoid all that missed time from work. Chiropractor Bryan Weddle of DMC Healthcare in Dallas offers five tips:

1) Maintain good posture

It’s important to check your posture when lifting, reaching, and even sitting. If your body deviates from a neutral or natural posture, it can put stress on your back. This is especially likely when you’re tired or fatigued, so be sure to check your posture regularly.

If you sit at your desk for prolonged periods of time, have your workstation checked by an ergonomic specialist to make sure everything is set up appropriately for your height and limb lengths. And be sure to get up and walk around frequently — no good can come from sitting in the same position for hours at a time.

2) Strengthen and stretch

Obesity and being in poor physical shape can increase your risk for injury. Strong, limber muscles are less likely to get strained or hurt.

Outside of the office, be sure to exercise regularly. Cardiovascular activities like biking or walking can enhance your overall health, and balance and strengthening routines like yoga and weight training can improve your strength and balance, reducing the likelihood of a fall.  

At work, stretch during your break time, especially if your job entails repetitive motions or heavy lifting. Warm muscles work better.  

3) Use good body mechanics

This tip is especially important when lifting heavy objects — or any objects. Manual material handling (MMH) usually entails not only lifting but moving, climbing, pushing, and pulling as well. One bad move can trigger a back injury that will send you home for days.

Here is some advice for maintaining good body mechanics:

4) Use equipment for heavy lifting

Don’t be embarrassed to ask for or seek help, whether it’s from a co-worker or a piece of equipment. If something is too heavy and can be moved or lifted with a dolly, cart, lift, wheelbarrow, or lift cart, use it!

5) Rest and listen to your body

Schedule regular breaks — and take them. Make sure you get adequate rest and sleep at home. Being physically and mentally prepared for your job can help you avoid accidents, muscle strain, and emotional stress. Know your limits and don’t push yourself beyond them.

If you do experience a workplace back injury, Dr. Weddle can help get you back to your active self. Dr. Weddle accepts workers comp from employees in the Dallas, Richardson, and Plano, Texas, areas. Call or make an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Whiplash Damages Your Neck and Spine

Do you suspect you have a neck injury? Any type of high-impact event can cause whiplash, a common but painful neck injury. Learn more about whiplash and the long-term damage it can cause in your spine.

Hurt at Work? We Can Get You Back on Your Feet

Even minor injuries at work can result in long-term medical issues. Find out more about workers’ compensation injuries and how chiropractic care can help restore your mobility, so you can get back to work.

How Poor Posture Affects Your Neck Long-Term

If you have neck pain that never seems to go away, your poor posture may be to blame. Learn how your posture affects your neck health and what changes you can make now to prevent long-term complications.

5 Signs of a Herniated Disc

Degenerative changes in your spine can increase your risk for a herniated disc as you get older. Learn how to recognize the early signs of a herniated disc, so you can get started on the treatment you deserve.

6 Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

Are you familiar with the effects of whiplash? Even minor car accidents can cause major pain from whiplash injuries. Learn how chiropractic care can treat the immediate effects of whiplash and reduce your risk for ongoing complications.