Is pesky back pain making it difficult to put your best foot forward in life? Maybe you can’t exercise as enthusiastically as you want? Or you are having trouble performing your professional duties in the workplace because of a back injury? Don’t beat yourself up over it! Injuries to the back (and the resulting pain) make up the majority of work-related injuries, as well as the reasons for missed work (globally).
This 2010 study, shows the alarming nature of what its authors call the “global burden of lower back pain” And since 2010, the numbers have stayed consistent for workplace injury rates, the type of injury (often musculoskeletal disorders like spinal or lower back injuries), and the industry (private sector laborer, nursing assistant, and factory worker).
But just because these types of injuries are so common, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be remedied or prevented! And we know how hard it is to be motivated while experiencing chronic pain. Fortunately, there are solutions for alleviating your back pain! Let’s start by reviewing some ways to relieve the painful symptoms of your injury.
After you have been assessed by a medical professional regarding the severity and origin of the injury, the most common treatments for the back can include the following:
- Modify Activity: Realize that your back is in pain and that pain response is your brain telling you not to over do it. So reduce the intensity that you have been going at whether in the gym or running around doing errands and be a little more cautious as you move!
- Ice or Heat: This is a very frequent question that we get, which is better, what should I do. Our general response is what feels better. I typically recommend contrast 20 minutes of heat 20 minutes of ice, but if you're someone that a hot shower really helps your back in the morning then maybe you use just heat!
- Staying Active: There are a lot of advocates out there for “active recovery” types of routines. And indeed, it is an extremely effective approach towards remedying pain by stretching, walking, and doing light exercise. Put simply, if sitting is causing you considerable pain, taking a thirty-minute walk or even just changing position is great for pain management.
There are many other ways to treat back injuries, such as exercises for lumbar spine stabilization and utilizing Positional Preference Exercises. But after you heal using these very effective methods, wouldn’t it be a really good idea to prevent the injury from reoccurring? Let’s orient our thinking now, towards the prevention of back injuries!
To do this, we must be proactive. But what does being proactive about prevention look like? To be proactive means the following things:
- To get into the routine of a dynamic warm up before every work shift or workout.
- Utilizing proper lifting techniques and form before any light-to-heavy lifting.
- Getting a personal trainer to teach the necessary techniques required for safety.
- Adding foam rolling exercises to your routine: sometimes what feels like back pain isn’t really back pain! glutes or hips might be the culprits. Head to our Fitness Artist Foam Rolling Video for some step by step instructions. https://youtu.be/KecUvNAy_Zc
- Doing exercises that strengthens the back to lessen the chance of aggravation or injury.
- To strengthen both “front-to-back” back muscles as well as “side-to-side” muscles. (Biomechanical imbalances can cause injuries.)
Now, all of these tips are great, but they are just tips. It is one thing to read about the information, but another to apply it. And trust us, even we struggle sometimes with wanting to follow our own advice; but fortunately, we have sustainable support systems and help for doing so. We also have programs and resources at our disposal that make it easy to continue practicing preventive habits. If you personally want our help with keeping you safe, accountable, and injury-free in your personal life or on the job, consider contacting us for a consultation. If you're an employer who is concerned with keeping your employees healthy feel free to check out our Work Force Strong program and don't hesitate if you have questions.
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