Low back pain accounts for the majority of work-related visits to the medical doctor. In fact, up to 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time.1 Statistics Canada reports the lower back as one of the most common areas injured at work, second only to the hand.2 According to the Center for Disease Control, back pain is the leading cause of disability among people between the ages of 19-45.3
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, there are a number of factors that contribute to the incidence of musculoskeletal injuries at work. In reviewing all the literature and available research on this topic, the institute concluded that only work-related lifting, forceful movements, and the exposure to whole body vibration were considered the most likely to be associated with incidences of lower back pain.4 In a report published by Statistics Canada, overexertion or strenuous movement is the main cause for work-related injuries requiring medical attention.2
Like many other areas of the body, the lower back is comprised of bone, muscle, nerve tissue and connective tissue. Each one of these structures has a limit to its ability to withstand a physical load. When this limit is surpassed, strain is the result. Since the tissues mentioned above are packed with nerves, any damage to their physical components can result in a lot of pain.
By lifting properly and observing correct posture and biomechanics, you can minimize the risk of strains and sprains. Your spine has a natural shock-absorbing curvature that should be maintained while increasing the workload. In addition, you should use the larger muscles of the legs to accomplish most of the work. This helps alleviate the stress on your back.
Your first step is to stop what you are doing and call for help. If help is not available, assess your injuries before you try to move. Sometimes physical injuries can get worse with sudden movements. Once you feel it is safe to travel, see your chiropractor. Chiropractors are musculoskeletal specialists. They will be able to give you a good idea about the extent of your injuries, and get you on the road to recovery right away!
According to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, of all the forms of lower back treatment, only spinal adjustment is recommended as a safe and effective form of professional assistance for acute lower back pain.5 So, you are in good hands – chiropractic is the right choice for low back pain due to acute lifting injuries
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Wellness Express newsletters are written and designed exclusively for chiropractors
Writer/Editor: David Coyne Writer: Dr. Christian Guenette, DC Design: Elena Zhukova
Disclaimer: Information contained in this Wellness ExpressTM newsletter is for educational and general purposes only and is designed to assist you in making informed decisions about your health. Any information contained herein is not intended to substitute advice from your physician or other healthcare professional.
Copyright 2011 Wellness ExpressTM