The Southeastern Spine Institute

Back pain is one of the top reasons people miss work. According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, a million people suffer from work-related back injuries each year. In total, more than 264 million workdays are lost every year due to back pain. Consulting a spine specialist for your back at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) can keep you productive and out of pain.

Although back pain is a condition that plagues all professions, working in certain vocations puts more strain on your back than others. Talking with a medical back specialist about the kind of movements you do during your daily work routine can reveal what’s causing your bad back. And the sooner you get treatment, the sooner you can get back to work.

Professions with the Worst Back Injury Risks

If you’re working in a high-risk profession for back pain, you need to take extra precautions, as the likelihood of getting hurt is high. The most dangerous professions for unhealthy backs are:

  • Freight, stock and material movers
  • Tractor-trailer truck drivers
  • Construction laborers
  • Farm hands
  • Janitors, cleaners and maids
  • Registered nurses and nursing assistants
  • Beauticians
  • Firefighters
  • Store clerks and bank tellers

Work-Related Reasons for Your Back Pain

The way you move directly effects your back. Some professions are so back-injury prone that safety procedures and training seminars teach workers how to correctly perform their duties. But your spine specialist at SSI can give you tips on how to minimize work-related back injuries.

Factors that affect your back health at work include:

  • Reaching for something while lifting
  • Twisting or bending while lifting
  • Lifting objects that are too heavy for a single person
  • Using force to lift objects, causing muscle spasms
  • Incorrectly lifting, pushing, pulling or carrying heavy loads, especially on stairs
  • Sitting with poor posture continuously
  • Performing repetitive movements like pushing carts or lifting patients from bed
  • Walking with a heavy load, especially on slippery floors
  • Driving heavy trucks or delivery vans day after day
  • Bending for long periods of time
  • Working at a poorly designed workstation

Dealing with Work-Related Back Injuries

About 80 percent of Americans suffer back pain of some kind, with lower back pain the most common affliction. Decreasing your chances of work-related back injuries depends on breaking unhealthy habits. Make healthy lifestyle choices and when at work, perform your duties with care. Lifestyle choices to consider include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce your weight, especially in your waist and abdomen
  • Manage your stress levels
  • Watch for diabetes or high blood pressure symptoms
  • Do more than two hours of exercise per week
  • Stretch your muscles before going to work by practicing yoga or Pilates

You can minimize work-related back injuries by following some common-sense tips, such as:

  • Lift objects correctly, without bending or twisting
  • Wear sensible shoes that don’t slip
  • Learn proper posture for standing and sitting
  • Take mini-breaks from your work to stretch your back muscles
  • Use headphones if you call and type simultaneously
  • Invest in a good chair that supports your spine
  • While driving long distances, take breaks during your journey
  • Don’t pull or push heavy loads suddenly
  • Climb stairs with heavy loads slowly and deliberately
  • And get up and walk whenever you can, especially if you have a desk job