Workplace back injuries: causes, prevention and treatment

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Back injuries are a common problem for many Massachusetts workers, especially those who perform manual labor tasks. These injuries can result in chronic pain, loss of mobility and lost wages.

Causes of back injuries

Several factors can contribute to back injuries in the workplace, including:

  • Poor posture: Employees who spend long hours sitting at a desk, typing or working on a computer are at risk of developing poor posture which can lead to back pain.
  • Repetitive motions: Workers who perform repetitive tasks, such as lifting, twisting, or reaching, can develop repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) in the back.
  • Overuse: Employees who perform physical labor, such as construction workers or warehouse employees, risk developing back pain from overuse.
  • Lifting heavy objects: Employees required to lift heavy objects are at risk of developing back pain or even herniated discs.

Preventing back injuries

Employers and employees can take several steps to prevent workplace back injuries. Simple solutions can save employees from pain and expensive medical bills. In the case of a back injury, workers’ compensation may help with the financial burden of damage to your back.

Maintaining good posture

Encouraging employees to sit up straight, keep their shoulders relaxed and take frequent breaks can help prevent back pain. While this may be difficult in some areas of employment, ergonomic solutions can help improve posture on the job. Providing ergonomic equipment, such as adjustable chairs and desks, can help prevent back pain from poor posture.

Implementing proper lifting techniques

Employees should be trained on the proper techniques for lifting heavy objects to reduce the risk of back pain. Squatting down instead of bending at the waist is essential for avoiding stress on the back.

Encouraging physical activity

Regular physical activity, such as stretching or exercise, can help prevent back pain by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Incorporating such activity as a part of employment is something that mindful employers can do to care for the well-being of their workers.

Treating Back Injuries

Treatment for workplace back injuries varies depending on the cause and severity of the injury. In many cases, rest, ice and pain medication is enough to relieve the symptoms of back pain. Physical therapy or chiropractic care may also be recommended to help improve mobility and relieve pain. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct a herniated disc or other spinal condition.

Keeping your back healthy

Back injuries can be a major problem for employees in various industries whether from use or accidents. By understanding the causes and taking steps to prevent back pain, employers and employees can work together to reduce the risk of such potentially life-changing back injuries. If you are experiencing back pain, it is essential to seek medical attention to determine the cause and receive appropriate care.


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