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What’s the best way to prevent and deal with back pain at work?

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Back pain is a problem for many Arizona workers, irrespective of the industries that they work in. Whether you’re tasked with lifting heavy items, performing repetitive motions, or sitting at a desk for hours at a time, your job may be putting undue pressure and stress on your back. Learning how to prevent and deal with back pain is a critical part of preserving your well-being, and retaining your ability to do your job effectively.

Learn the common causes of work-related back pain

Sedentary desk jobs frequently cause back pain. Sitting still for long stretches of time disrupts the natural curvature of the spine. Many office workers don’t have the proper ergonomic settings at their desks. For instance, if computer screens aren’t at eye level, staring at them all day can create tension between the shoulder blades and at the neck. Other common sources of back pain on the job include heavy lifting, repetitive motions, inactivity, and jarring impact events.

Use these tips to prevent work-related back pain

If you work at a desk, try to get up at least once every hour to stretch and move around. Make sure that your computer screen is at eye level, and use a desk chair that offers lower lumbar support. You can also switch to a balance ball. For jobs that require heavy-lifting, brush up on safe lifting strategies. These include bending at the knees, engaging the abdominal muscles, and lifting with your thighs rather than your lower back.

Take these steps when back pain persists

Sometimes back pain is a slow, progressive issue that gradually becomes difficult to ignore. If your job is causing back pain, and if your discomfort doesn’t naturally abate within a matter of days, talk to your Human Resources department and schedule an appointment with your doctor or chiropractor. Persistent and prolonged back pain may be a sign of pinched or compressed nerves, strained muscles, or other musculoskeletal issues that require treatment. Having your injury documented and professionally treated will prove important if you opt to file a worker’s comp claim.

Improve your workstation

Your work area should be adequately equipped for preventing work-related injuries. Stress mats, ergonomic desks and chairs, and even desks that change elevation are among some of the office additions that can limit the likelihood of back pain. Given the high costs of resolving worker’s compensation claims, many employers are more than willing to make these improvements.