If there is a condition most everyone can relate to, it is back pain. And as more people sit all day in their workplace, the problem is bound to get worse. But there are things you can do to prevent, manage and even get rid of your back pain.
A new infographic developed by Nowsourcing for Online Mattress Review has some valuable information about back pain. Titled, “Back in Pain: How Everyday Activities Hurt Our Spines” it looks at the anatomy of back pain.
Why is this topic important for businesses? Because lost wages and productivity due to lower back pain costs Americans more than $100 billion per year. This includes missed work totaling 264 million lost days annually, which comes out to 2 workdays for every full-time worker.
For small businesses with a limited number of workers, the impact has greater consequences. But if you understand what causes back pain along with the treatment options, you can help yourself and your employees.
The cost to individuals is also quite high, especially if they don’t have insurance. Physical therapy per session can cost $50-$100; walking assistance equipment $50-$100; and $200-$2,000 for surgery, after insurance. But without insurance, it can go anywhere from $50K-$150K+.
Anatomy of Back Pain
According to the report, 8 in 10 adults will experience back pain in their lifetime. And this is caused by the wear and tear of everyday actions on our bodies.
Longer working hours with prolonged sitting, standing, and moving is responsible for some of the damage.
The main causes of injury include force generated by lifting or moving heavy objects; repeating the same movements, especially twisting of the spine; and the inactivity of sitting for long periods without the right back support. There are also hidden causes which are responsible. Bad posture, stress, muscle strain, and obesity contribute to back pain.
Additionally, your posture will greatly dictate the health of your neck and back. Craning forward, a slouched back, and an extended or raised neck are all responsible. Whether you make one or more of these common posture mistakes, eventually you will suffer the consequences.
So, What Can You Do About Back Pain at Work?
It all starts by being aware of how your body moves, paying attention to early symptoms and seeking help before it gets worse.
When you sit, maintain a forward curve in your lower back and avoid slouching. Get ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks so you can work sitting or standing. Move the monitor of your computer to eye level so you can avoid craning your neck. And if your job has repetitive tasks, modify them to avoid injuries.
Outside of your workplace improve your physical fitness so you can handle the daily activities of your job. Resistance training such as weights, low-impact aerobics, and maintaining a healthy weight will contribute to increasing your strength and stamina.
Last but definitely not least, make sure to get quality sleep on a mattress with proper spine and neck support. When you sleep, you are lying down in the same position for hours. If your spine is not supported properly, it will further aggravate any back pain you might be suffering.
As an Employer
If you are an employer, follow the rules set by the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure your workers are safe. This includes adhering to OSHA standards.
Monitoring workplace conditions to maintain a safe environment free from recognized hazards is also key to avoiding injuries. At the same time, you have to provide safety training to keep your employees updated on current procedures and processes.
The more informed your employees are, the better they are prepared to handle any emergency.
Prolonged Pain Warning
Ice, heat and over the counter pain medication are quick fixes, but they don’t treat the underlying cause of your back pain.
If your back pain radiates down both legs, causes muscle weakness or numbness along with unexplained weight loss, it is time to see a doctor.
Take a look at the infographic for more of the data about back pain.
Source: Online Mattress Review