Backcare – reducing the impact of back pain in the workplace
Back pain is a major health concern for workers and is likely to affect 80 percent of adults in India during their lifetime.
Backs are complex structures comprising the interlinking vertebrae bones of the spine, cartilage or discs, muscles, tendons and nerves, and backs play a central role in supporting, moving and protecting our bodies. Any problems with our backs can have a debilitating impact on us physically and mentally.
If you want to try to keep away from harm to your back, mainly if you work in a mainly desk-bound job, the first thing to do is to work up to any gym or exercise program slowly. Don’t suddenly start weightlifting because you will harm your back, especially if you’re over the age of 40. Be careful with boot camps.
The second thing is, in most workplaces, there’s a manual lift person—usually a health and safety representative— who are appropriately trained to advise on manual lifting techniques. If you are involved in a job that involves repetitive bending and lifting, then it’s very significant that you have education in safe lifting techniques.
Serious back situations or diseases are rare. It is minor strains, inflammation or pinched nerves that account for the majority of cases of back pain, frequent causes of which are:
- twisting or bending awkwardly;
- not sitting properly in a chair for long periods;
- driving for a long time without stopping for a break;
- repetitive strain caused by overusing certain muscles
More serious and chronic back problems are far less common and need medical treatment. They include:
Sciatica slipped/prolapsed disc – lower back pain characterized by numbness and tingling along one leg;
Arthritis – stiffness, and pain in the joints;
Whiplash – neck pain and headaches following an impact;
Pain caused by a spinal fracture.