Prevent Back pain at work in the UK

Causes of Back pain at work in the UK

There are 3 main causes for back pain at work in the UK:

      • Bad posture due to inactivity
      • Repetitive movements of the spine
      • Poor Manual Handling techniques

BACK PAIN AT WORK FROM BAD POSTURE DUE TO INACTIVITY:

When we sit on a chair with a desk all day, we tend to ignore how we sit leading to work place injury. In other words we neglect our posture whether it is in the UK, london or anywhere in the world. The muscles ligaments and bones of your lower back are put in a position of comfort. This position of comfort is not so helpful for our lower back. We all notice that we hunch when we sit in a lazy position. Over time, this becomes a habit and we develop a bad posture.

Bad posture puts a lot of strain on our muscles and ligaments as they are not well aligned and out of balance. Initially, we do not feel the stretch or the pain, as our body has immense capability to adapt to such postures. But as time goes on, the tissues of our back undergoes small tears and these tears cause inflammation.

What happens next is very interesting. The injured and inflammed tissues releases chemicals that irritates the nerves around the spine. The muscles and tissues go into spasm. This causes low back pain.

BACK PAIN AT WORK FROM REPETITIVE MOVEMENTS OF THE SPINE:

Back pain worsens due to repeated movements of the spine. A job at the checkout in the UK, london or anywhere in the world for example is the sitting job and in addition to sitting for a long time, it also involves lifting weights and twisting at the same time. This is like taking a towel and twisting it repeatedly. We all know that these repeated movements will eventually tear the towel.

This is what exactly happens to the soft cushions between the bones of your spine called discs. These discs eventually rupture and prolapses causing a ‘disc prolapse’.  The soft tissues around your spine also get injured and inflamed. This injured and inflamed soft tissues and disc releases chemicals that irritates the nerves around your spine causing low back pain.

In the initial stages when you are young, your tissues are fresh and healthy. Your body has the capacity to repair the tissue injury and inflammation very quickly. As age advances the ability of your body to repair the inflammation decreases. The damage caused to these discs, ligaments, joints and tissues of your spine become permanent.

BACK PAIN AT WORK FROM POOR MANUAL HANDLING TECHNIQUES:

Poor manual handling techniques are the major cost for Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD). According to current estimates there are around 500,000 WRMSDs reported each year in the UK alone. This is around 35% of the total work related injuries. 6.6 million working days are lost each year due to WRMSDs. Those who work in agriculture, transportation, construction health and social work in the UK are at risk of WRMSDs

WRMSDs are caused by poor manual handling practices that involves twisting turning and bending the back. Lifting heavy loads,  stretching into hard to reach areas and working in a cramped environment. Symptoms of WRMSD range from mild Uncomfortable to severely disabling. This is the main cause of work place disability in the UK. These symptoms range from:

  • Dull low back aches that goes away with rest
  • General body ache
  • Stiffness in your body
  • Reduction in Body movements
  • Feeling of fatigue
  • Sleep disturbance

These are the 5 simple steps to prevent back pain at your place of work. These are modifications that you must pay some attention to prevent back pain and sickness absences due to back pain at work.

5 steps to prevent Back Pain at work

MONITOR YOUR MONITOR

Make sure that your Monitor is at the same level of your head.

        • Keep the top of the monitor at the same height of the top of your head.
        • This can help prevent a stiff neck

Tilt your Monitor such that it is comfortable to your eyes.

        • Eye strain can cause headache and neck pain due to focussing on the screen at the wrong angle.
        • Keep the Monitor at the distance that feels comfortable to you and your eyesight.
        • This gives easy readability with less stress on your eyes and neck

CHECK WHERE THE ITEMS ARE ON YOUR TABLE

Keep all the items that you very frequently use close to your reach

        • This is important because, we tend to stretch our back and neck muscles to reach out in a hurry.
        • Reaching out to those commonly used items repeatedly will result in muscle fatigue
        • As we do this quickly, it stretches our muscles in an unnatural way causing pain and injury to neck

WHERE ARE YOUR SHOULDER AND ARMS?

Your both shoulder and arms must be in a relaxed posture

        • Your shoulder can be in a relaxed position as close to the head rest
        • Try not to bring your shoulder to the front as it will tighten the muscle in front of the shoulder

Hang both your arms by the side with your elbow close to your body

        • The height of the table can be adjusted so that your elbow is bent at 90 degrees
        • Your hands then rests comfortably on the table
        • This relaxes all the muscles of shoulder, arm and hands
5 steps to prevent Back Pain at work

KEEP YOUR BACK SUPPORTED

Adjust your back rest that makes you feel comfortable and supported

        • Use a pillow if necessary
        • Lean back and make sure that your whole back touches the chair

Look at the distance between the table and chair

        • Adjust this distance in such way that you do not have to lean forward to reach your table.
        • Take care of your posture

MAKE SURE THAT YOUR FEET IS FLAT ON THE FLOOR

Look at the height of your chair

        • The height of the chair can be adjusted in such a way that both your feet are flat on the floor
        • This helps to keep your hips and knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
        • Your hips, knees and leg muscles are relaxed and helps to reduce fatigue and strain on your back.
5 steps to prevent Back Pain at work

When is the right time to call Mr Rajesh?

Wait and see how the above treatment at home works. After a week, if you still feel that you are not able to get back to work, then please contact your GP or contact us at www.spinesurgeon.london

Mr Rajesh's Advice:

Here at Spine Surgeon, we have both Online and Direct Consultations. If you wish to avail a consultation:

  • WhatsApp or text him on: +447956 381 383
  • Write to him directly: rajesh@spinesurgeon.london

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