Back injuries occur more frequently than any other work Injury. They can affect anyone – no matter your age or the type of job you perform. You can be injured just as easily in the office as you can in an industrial setting. Injuries can occur on or off the job.
Back injuries are a major problem in the workplace. These statistics speak for themselves.
- Roughly 7 out of 10 adult will suffer from some kind of back injury in their lifetime. That’s right…70% of us will be affected!
- Back injuries are the No.1 reason for lost work days.
Effects of Back Injuries
Chances are you or someone you know has suffered from a back injury at some time. If so, then you know the pain and suffering they can inflict. Injuries can range in severity, duration and discomfort. Minor strains and sprains may offer only mild discomfort, while herniated or ruptured spinal discs can be very painful, require surgery, and take months to heal.
- A decrease in health and well-being
- Inability to perform normal tasks
- Lost work time & wages
- Expensive medical costs
- Surgery or physical therapy
To make matters worse, once you have suffered a serious injury, your back will never be the same. Even once it heals, the injured tissue will always be weaker than it was before the injury. This increases the likelihood of recurring injuries.
How the Back Works?
Vertebrae, The back, or spinal column, is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae. These bones support the back and connect to one another at joints called facet joints. The hinge-like joints provide stability and allow movement to the front, back, and sides. The spinal column supports the head and allows the body to bend and twist. The natural S-shaped curve of the spine adds strength and flexibility and helps it to absorb shock.
Spinal Cord and Nerves, Openings in the center of the vertebrae line up to form the spinal canal, through which the spinal cord and nerves pass. The spinal cord is like an un-insulated high voltage electrical wire. Its two main functions are to carry impulses between the brain and other parts of the body and to serve as a reflex center.
Most injuries to the back are to the soft tissues; the muscles, ligaments, and discs. An injury can occur to one or a combination of these tissues. Once a serious back injury occurs, the injured part will always be weaker than it was before. This makes the back more susceptible to future injuries. That’s why proactive prevention of the risk factors that lead to injury is so important. In the following screens, we’ll take a look at some of the more common back injuries and their causes.
The Risk Factors:
Repetitive motions, forceful exertions, and awkward postures can take their toll on your back. The most common risk factors that can lead to injury include:
- Poor posture
- Improper lifting or material handling
- Excessive twisting, bending, or reaching
- Poor physical condition
Other contributing factors include smoking and being overweight.
Never Bend at the Waist!
You should never bend at the waist to pick up a load. Here’s why:
- The back operates at a 10-to-1 ratio, with the fulcrum being the waist. The average adult upper body weighs 105 pounds. So bending at the waist puts 1,050 pounds of additional pressure on the average back.
- If you are picking up a 10-pound box, this can add an additional 100 pounds of pressure. Add the two together for a total of 1,150 pounds of pressure on your back.
- If you are overweight, you are adding even more stress to your back.
Care your back, your front shall be brighten