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Back Pain At Work? Don’t Suffer In Silence Anymore!

By Soumik Ghosh

There is a whole constellation of things that contribute to a solid night's sleep-how did you workout at the gym, when did you have that last 'emergency' latte, how long you stayed up binge-watching Netflix, and, sometimes, even your mattress.

If, almost regularly, you're sidelined by back pain, know that you're not alone. In the US, or rather globally for that matter, backache is one of the most common medical problems. Researches state, about 1 in every 4 adults experience it at least one day in a three-month period.

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We understand how back pain can make it hard for you to concentrate on your job. It's sometime either dull and achy or sharp and stabbing at other. Some jobs - say nursing, construction or factory works, require you to lift or pull heavy weights which can place significant demands on your back.

Even routine office work (sitting at a desk all day) can take a toll on your spine to cause back pain. But the irony is that since back pain doesn't show any visible signs, it becomes difficult to share with a friend, your partner or doctor. You need to be your own advocate on this job. And we're here to help you with that.

First, if you're suffering in silence it's of utmost importance to figure out the causes of back pain and what you can do to prevent it.

Common Causes Of Back Pain

Let's understand the bunch of factors that can contribute to back pain at work:

1. Exerting too much force on your back, by lifting or moving heavy objects, can cause injuries making you more prone to backaches.

2. Repeating certain movements, such as twisting or rotating your spine, can also injure your back.

3. Inactivity. Your desk is contributing to your back pain, without you even knowing about it. Most of the modern cases of a backache are caused either due to poor posture or sitting all day on a chair with inadequate back support.

4. Lifestyle factors such as obesity and poor physical condition also contribute to back pain.

How To Tackle Back Pain

These are a few steps that you can take to avoid back pain and injuries at work:

1. Work On Your Posture

When you're standing, try to balance your weight evenly on your feet. To adapt to a good sitting posture, choose a chair that supports your spinal curves. While sitting, take your wallet or phone out from the back pocket to prevent exerting pressure on your buttocks or lower back.

2. Lift Properly

If you're lifting and/or carrying a heavy object, always distribute the pressure across your legs and tighten your core muscles. Hold the object close to your body and don't twist the natural curve of your back. If you feel something is too heavy for you, ask for someone's help.

3. Modify Repetitive Tasks

Try to balance out physically demanding tasks accurately with less demanding ones. If you're at a desk job, always properly position your monitor, keyboard, mouse and chair. If you have to frequently talk on the phone and type at the same time, use a headset. Avoid all unnecessary bendings, twistings and reaching.

4. Listen To Your Body

If you feel that you're sitting for a prolonged period, try to change your position often. Take periodic walks and gently stretch your muscles to relieve tension.

5. Tweak Your Lifestyle

You definitely can't control your age, but you can focus on maintaining a healthy weight, right? Start by eating healthy: getting enough calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients help prevent osteoporosis, a condition that weakens your bones. Incorporate aerobic exercises, such as swimming or walking. The aim is to strengthen your back muscles and abdomen.

Dear smokers, quit this habit as smoking diminishes blood flow to your lower spine which results in spinal disc degeneration and slow-healing of back injuries.

Back pain can plague your productivity and negatively impact your workdays and free time. Examine the factors that might aggravate your back and take these simple steps to ease back pain. In case of a chronic backache, do not hesitate to consult an expert.

For any query or suggestion, please drop your comments right below.

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