Back At The Forefront
Despite the fact that you can’t see it without a mirror, your back is a substantial portion of your body. It provides support for your upper half, and when something is wrong, it can put you out of commission for a significant period of time — if not permanently.
Back pain is one of the most common causes of absence from work, and is a leading source of disability around the globe1. Many forms of back pain can be prevented or treated using basic techniques.
Learn the Signs
The first thing you need is to learn how to identify back pain. It’s difficult to ignore, but it’s not always easy to know the difference between a bearable, one-time annoyance and a more serious, permanent injury. Many back injuries develop over long periods and increase in severity unless they are addressed and managed. Signs of back injury include2:
- Muscle aches
- Sharp pains
- Pain that radiates to legs
- Pain that worsens with simple actions
- Pain that is relieved when you recline
Avoid the Dangers
Improper lifting techniques and activities that put too much strain on back muscles are often the culprits of back pain. If your work puts you at risk for developing a back injury, or if you want to prevent them altogether for your long-term health, here are some tips to follow:
- Lift with a partner or get mechanical assistance when you must lift a heavy object.
- Lift with your knees, not your back.
- Get a good grip on the object you’re lifting.
- Keep the object close to your body.
- Spread your feet for stability.
- Twist or bend sideways.
- Raise the object above your shoulders.
- Lift in an awkward position.
Health care providers can offer therapeutic options to treat many types of back pain at home. However, some pain can lead to chronic conditions or indicate more serious health problems. If you do experience frequent or recurring back pain, seek medical treatment. Don’t ignore it and put your health or your ability to work in jeopardy.
Safe@Work is brought to you by Federated Mutual Insurance Company®.
This article is for general information and risk prevention only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations herein may help reduce, but are not guaranteed to eliminate any or all risk of loss. Qualified counsel should be sought with questions specific to your circumstances. © 2019 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.
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