Bad Back? Tips to Stay Upright
A bad back is one of the most common and painful conditions you can get. As healthcare workers, you are at high risk of hurting your back, from moving and handling to other everyday tasks if you’re not careful you could give yourself a serious injury.
It's not just people doing psychical work that is at risk. Recent studies have shown that many office workers are prone to suffering from bad backs due to the amount of time they spend sat down. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), most recent data (2013) showed that 30.6 million working days were lost due to musculoskeletal problems. In the data set, musculoskeletal problems include back pain, neck and upper limb problems and other musculoskeletal problems.
How to Prevent Back Pain
- Maintain Proper Posture – The way we sit, walk and stand is vital to maintaining a healthy back. With many workers now spending up to eight hours a day sitting at their desks, the issue of bad posture is on the rise. You should work at an ergonomically correct workstation, and break up long periods in front of the computer with stretching exercises. Good posture allows you to maintain the natural curves of your back and help keep it strong.
- Use Correct Lifting Techniques – With healthcare often being a physically demanding job you must always use the correct techniques for lifting and other activities. Moving & Handling training will teach you how to move people and objects safely.
- Eat Well and Do Exercise - Staying active is one of the best ways to keep your back healthy. If you’re not in good condition, then there is a higher chance of suffering from an injury even when doing the most simple of tasks. Exercise also keeps your weight under control. Being overweight can put considerable strain on your back and the rest of your bones.
- Quit Smoking – It may come as a surprise, but smoking has been shown to not just be bad for your overall health but your back too. Research has shown that smoking makes existing back pain worse, most likely due to it narrowing the blood vessels which reduces the amount of blood and oxygen reaching the troubled area.
- Reduce Stress – Being stressed is never a good thing. Stress causes you to tense your muscles, and constant tension of this kind can cause back pain. Any activity that helps you reduce stress will help prevent back pain.
Hopefully, by following these tips, you can reduce the likelihood of suffering a bad back. However, if you are suffering from back pain do not ignore it. Book an appointment with your GP as it could be a sign of other underlying health conditions.