Protect your back -- listen to what your body tells you
Are you one of the thousands of workers in Nebraska who suffers from chronic back pain? It is not easy to concentrate on your job while dealing with constant dull back pain or stabbing sharp pains. Although back problems can develop in any occupation, industries such as manufacturing, construction and nursing place considerable demands on employees’ backs.
If your job includes manual materials handling that requires you to lift, place, carry, hold and lower objects, you will be susceptible to back injuries. Other causes include repetitive motions that involve the rotation or twisting of your spine and inactivity, which can be equally dangerous. If you spend your work days sitting behind a desk in an inappropriate chair with no back support, you will likely end up with chronic back pain.
How can you prevent back injuries?
Along with living a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise and stretching, there are some steps you can take to protect your back:
- Posture – You can protect your back by paying attention to your posture. Stand with your weight evenly distributed on both your feet and try not to slouch. If your job requires extended hours of sitting, make sure your back is supported and that the height of your chair allows you to put your feet flat on a footrest or the floor.
- Lifting – When it comes to heavy lifting, use your leg muscles rather than those in your back to help with lifting the loads. Also, make sure you do not hold the object away from your body. Avoid twisting while picking up an object, and always ask for help if you are not strong enough to lift a heavy object. Use mechanical lifting devices whenever possible.
- Repetition – Try to alternate repetitive tasks – regardless of whether it is data entry on a computer or working on an assembly line in a factory. Even gripping the phone between your shoulder and your ear frequently can cause back problems. Using a speaker or headset may prevent injuries.
- Listen to what your body tells you – When your body starts feeling fatigue, it will tell you to walk around and stretch. If you cannot leave your workstation, change your position in the chair often.
- Ergonomics – If you take a good look at your work environment, you can make changes that will put less stress on your back muscles.
Even by taking all these precautions, you might suffer a back injury or develop chronic back pain. The first thing to typically do if facing these circumstances is to seek the necessary medical attention for your condition. You will then be entitled to claim any medical expenses from the workers’ compensation insurance system of Nebraska. If your condition is severe enough to keep you away from work, you might also be compensated for a percentage of lost wages.