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...

Who Benefits from Trigger Point Injections?

Those painful knots in your muscles can be difficult to treat. If you’re not having luck with medications or massage therapy, trigger point injection therapy might be the solution you need for long-term pain relief.

Understanding How Spinal Decompression Works

When persistent back and neck pain is keeping you away from your favorite activities, it might be time to consider the benefits of spinal decompression. Learn how this noninvasive therapy can relieve your pain and restore the health of your spine.

5 Common Causes of Knee Pain

Got a bum knee but aren’t sure where the pain is coming from? The knee is a complex assortment of different components that could all suffer damage. Find out more about what might be causing your knee pain and how chiropractic care can help.

Bothered by Sciatica? Consider Chiropractic Care

If a sneeze causes shocks of pain to move through your lower back, it's time to consider the benefits of chiropractic care for sciatica. Learn more about what causes sciatica and how chiropractic therapies can help improve your quality of life.

How Repetitive Motion Fuels Shoulder Pain

Repeatedly moving your shoulder in the same way while playing sports or at your job increases the likelihood you’ll develop persistent shoulder pain. Learn how repetitive motions impact your shoulder joint and how chiropractic care can help.

The Long-Term Effects of Whiplash

An estimated two million people in the United States are diagnosed with whiplash every year. Learn more about this common spine injury and how chiropractic care can reduce your risk for long-term whiplash complications.