Alleviate And Prevent Work-related Back Pain

The No. 1 cause of job-related disability and missed days at work in the U.S. is back pain. Repetitive motion and heavy lifting on the job are major contributors to this widespread problem. While there is no easy way to avoid lifting in many workplaces, there are some things that can be done to alleviate strain on the back while performing work functions.
Back Support: A back support aids in reducing stress on the back while lifting and bending. If there is an existing back injury, a back support made of neoprene material also works to retain body heat and increase circulation, which assists in the healing process. 
Proper Lifting: Proper lifting is a critical component of both preventing back injuries and in ensuring that existing back problems are not exacerbated. Use these lifting techniques to minimize stress on the lumbar: 
  • Stand as close to the object as possible. Spread you feet shoulder width apart with one foot slightly in front of the other to maintain balance.
  • Squat bending at the knees instead of the waist. Tuck your chin while keeping your back as straight as possible.
  • Grasp the object firmly before starting to lift and slowly straighten legs without twisting the body.
  • Once the lift is complete, keep the object as close as possible to the body since the farther away the object's center of gravity, the greater the stress on the lower back.
  • Use your feet instead of your torso if you must turn holding the object.
  • Follow the same procedure in reverse when putting the object down. Keep in mind that your back should be as vertical as possible while bending at the knees.