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Three Jobs That Contribute to Back Pain (And What You Can Do About It)

Marina Del Rey, California (PRWEB) October 24, 2013

No matter what line of work or demographic, chances are there are certain actions that could leave a person susceptible to back pain. DISC Sports & Spine Center (DISC), a leader in the field of spinal health and injury correction, recognizes that prevention and immediate intervention are the keys to healthy living.

For neurological spine surgeon and DISC founder Dr. Robert S. Bray Jr., it’s important for people to understand the importance of rooting out back pain before it’s too late.

“There are few jobs out there that won’t contribute to back pain over the course of time,” said Dr. Bray. “If you sit in an office every day, inactivity and poor posture can wear down your spine and contribute to a chronic injury. For those who are constantly lifting and transporting heavy loads, the threat of an acute injury is exacerbated.”

As a helpful tool, DISC has listed three of the most common types of jobs known to cause back pain, as well as the steps employees can take to improve back health.

Desk Jobs – People who sit in an office every day may suffer spinal damage if they don’t take time to protect themselves. Sitting in one position too long can contribute to deficiencies in spinal posture that create long-term health problems.

More than just sitting up straight, inquire with your employer as to the availability of office chairs that have been rated for their ability to provide lumbar support. Ideally, you should be able to reach your computer with elbows bent at a right angle, and knees at a similar angle pointed toward the floor.

Expert Stretching Tip: Every couple of hours, take a break to stretch. Try standing straight up, raising one arm above your head, and then bending to the opposite side. If you’re doing things right, your ear will rest in the crook of your elbow. Repeat on the other side.

Heavy Lifting Jobs – There are several reasons heavy lifting jobs can lead to back pain. First, people often have poor lifting technique, which can sprain ligaments, muscle and tendons, as well as injure discs in the back. Employees may be already fatigued, which could prevent them from maintaining proper lifting technique. They may also be lifting more than their musculature can support, or may have a pre-existing problem. Disc pathology, facet joint pain or arthritis may all be aggravated by lifting a heavy load.

There’s truth in that old adage “lift with your knees, not with your back.” You should bend your knees every time you transport a load, whether that item is heavy or light. While lifting, keep your back aligned and stand up straight. Rather than twisting while lifting, your entire body should move if pivoting is required. A back brace could also help you maintain correct posture.

Expert Stretching Tip: When dull pain radiates through your back, try lying face down on the ground. Place your hands about shoulder’s width apart and then push up the upper body, keeping everything from the hips on down firmly pressed against the ground. Hold this position for ten seconds, take a break, and then repeat.

Stay-at-Home Parents – Stay-at-home parents are constantly bending forward, rounding the back and lifting their children. This action actually causes the back muscle activity to decrease the further they bend. When the average person reaches their limit of forward bending, the back muscles actually stop all activity, something known as myoelectric silence. At that moment, the weight of the upper body is borne by the ligaments and discs of the lumbar spine, which can cause a low back sprain, disc injury or aggravation of an existing disc injury.

Be mindful of your posture when picking up young children. Try to keep your back flat and use your legs to lift your children.

Expert Stretching Tip: Lie on your back and pull one knee toward your chest. Make sure your arms do all the work and hold for 15-20 seconds. Then lower that leg and repeat with the other leg. Do this two or three times on each side. Then pull both knees to your chest and hold for 15-20 seconds. Next, pull one knee up but toward the opposite shoulder (diagonally across the chest) and hold for 15-20 seconds. Put this leg down and repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat the diagonal stretches again.

DISC Sports and Spine Center (DISC) is a national leader in the field of non-invasive and minimally invasive sports and spine medicine. For patients suffering from orthopedic injuries and disorders, DISC’s expertise and innovation in diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation in a coordinated multi-disciplinary setting is unrivaled. For more information about how DISC can help patients, click here.

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