Back pain is one of the most common workplace complaints and can happen in a wide range of jobs. While jobs involving heavy lifting or strenuous movement are often associated with back pain, an office job that involves sitting in the same position or in an uncomfortable chair all day can also result in back pain.
Back pain is more than just physical pain. The back supports our entire body, and strain or injury to it can cause other physical issues, not to mention mental stress. It can take a toll on life outside of work, as hobbies or enjoyable activities could become difficult or impossible.
There are a few common causes of workplace related back pain. One cause is inadequate workplace training in jobs involving manual or physical labor. Learning proper lifting and moving techniques is extremely important, not only at the start of a job, but on an ongoing basis.
Employers should not assume that employees naturally know how to do their jobs in ways that minimize the risk of back pain. Workers who do not receive training, or education on the risk of back pain from their work duties, are more likely to suffer back pain, which could lead to a back injury and time missed from work.
Another common reason for back pain involves the fast pace at which many jobs move. Many jobs, no matter the industry, have deadlines that need to be met and long shifts with little time for breaks. Workers who are rushing to complete tasks on time due to strict employer demands are more likely to forget to use proper physical techniques because they are too focused on simply getting the job done.
A workplace back injury can change an entire life. In addition to costly medical treatment, workers may face demotion or even job loss if they can no longer perform their job to the best of their ability. Back pain also typically results in a lessened quality of life, leading to mental and emotional distress.
Workers who suffer from back pain or have sustained a back injury may feel hopeless but help and options are available. Speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney is a good first step.