An Overview of Ergonomics and Back Pain
Many residents of Tyler, Texas experience back pain or neck pain caused by prolonged hours of sitting at a desk or repetitive lifting motions while on the job. Common causes of work-related pain includes slouching in a chair, hunching the shoulders to type, craning the neck to view a computer monitor and lifting an item too heavy. Many individuals in the workplace can experience alleviated pain with a simple office redesign or learning proper body mechanics with the use of basic ergonomic principles. The pain management physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to diagnose and treat acute or chronic back pain, as well as determine if a patient’s job is the cause of pain.
Back Injuries in the Workplace
There are two types of injuries that cause workers to experience back pain or neck pain while on the job. They include:
- Accidental injuries– This form of injury occurs during an unexpected event, such as a trip, slip or fall. These accidental injuries can cause the soft tissues and bones around the spine to become jolted and damaged.
- Non-accidental injuries– This form of injury occurs as a result of normal activities and physical requirements for a work-related task. Improper posture, repetitive motions, prolonged activity and fatigue are the leading causes of non-accidental injuries.
Physically demanding jobs and positions that require repetitive movements are at a greater risk of both accidental and non-accidental injuries. Common examples include healthcare workers, construction workers and labor intensive positions, mainly because of heavy lifting, bending, squatting and twisting.
Workers who remain seated at a desk all day are at a higher risk of non-accidental injuries only. Remaining deskbound most of the day causes many individuals to experience back pain, neck pain and leg pain.
Reduce Back Pain with Work Ergonomics
Simple changes to an office setup or learning appropriate body mechanics when lifting or bending can help many employees reduce back pain, neck pain and other common aches. Many potentially harmful situations that lead to an injury can be avoided by:
- Changing positions frequently– The human body was not designed to stay in one position for an extended period of time, sitting or standing.
- Stretch frequently– Jobs that require repetitive motions, such as lifting, can bind the joints. Stretching throughout the day can help alleviate overall discomfort in many workers.
- Not lifting loads too heavy without help.
- Getting the proper amount of sleep- Fatigue can cause individuals to move and sit awkwardly.
Workers may find back pain relief with simple ergonomic techniques, including:
- Maintain the natural curve of the spine when standing
- Wear shoes with good support if work requires prolonged standing or hours on the feet
- Adopt a user-friendly workstation if the position requires extended periods of sitting
- Modify sitting positions to keep the head and neck erect
- Take regular stretch and walking breaks
If you live in Greater Tyler, Texas and are experiencing back pain or neck pain after workplace ergonomic changes, please contact the pain management physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler. Our specialists are available to treat cases of both acute and chronic pain.