With a lot of expatriates moving to the UAE for work, back pains can be a common symptom when you’re working too much. Whether your job requires you to move and lift heavy objects physically, or whether you’re sitting down staring at a screen for hours on end, back pains usually end up occurring.

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If you don’t make lifestyle changes or small adjustments to your activity or posture, this back pain at work can result in more serious health concerns.

Causes of Back Pain at Work

back pain at work

Back pain can happen at any time, to anyone and you can easily prevent if you know what causes it. Here are a few reasons why you may be getting persistent back pains at work.

1. Inactivity

The reason why most people get back pain at work is that you are not doing any physical movements. If you sit with poor posture during work hours, your spine and back will accumulate cramps and pain when you start to move again. This will also happen when your chair does not offer you the back support you need.

2. Excessive Force

Exerting too much pressure on your back by lifting heavy objects, adding force or weight against your back can cause a lot of tension, creating long-term pain as well as serious injuries. This can be prevented by using a proper technique or finding solutions where you don’t need to apply so much pressure onto your back, spine, and neck.

3. Repetitive Motions

Repeating the same type of movement over and over again can cause pain and injury for your back, especially if it involves rotating, twisting or bending your spine. This creates tension in your back if you continually perform the same movement regularly.

How to Prevent Back Pain at Work

back pain at work

1. Fix Your Posture

Try to keep your shoulders back and your spine straight at all times. Whether you’re standing or sitting, your spines natural position needs to be straight. It is the best way to prevent cramping and back pain. In an office setting, it may feel comfortable to slouch; however, you’ll notice pain accumulating. It is because you’re bending the spine out of its natural position. Fixing your posture is the first step of preventing back pain.

2. Lift Objects with Correct Form

When lifting heavy objects, try to avoid putting pressure on your back. You can also adjust your form to protect other body parts, including your joints. When you lift heavy objects, rely on your core strength as well as your legs. Make sure your back maintains the natural curve at all times. By bending your legs, engaging the muscles in your legs, arms, and core, you’re putting the pressure on your muscles and strong points as opposed to your joints and bones. It will prevent serious injury.

3. Take Time to Stretch

Spend a couple of minutes every hour to get up, move around a little and loosen up all your joints, muscles and bones. This means you can get up from your seat or work station, to stretch, walk around, or even just shake some of your body parts. Though this is a small thing, it makes a big difference. It helps to relieve any tension building up and prevents back pains from developing later.

4. Avoid Repetition

Whether it’s stretching to pick up a device, twisting your body to pick something up, change up the way you work, so you avoid repeating the same body motion that causes strains in your back. Use a tool that can help you reach for objects. Use a different arm to grab things every time. By making this simple change into your work life, you put way less demand and pressure on your back and spine.

5. Don’t Pressure Yourself

There are some days where your body is more tired than the other. Some tasks are more physically demanding than the other. So every time you perform a task, modify your movement so that you can protect your back. If this means changing your position, stretching for longer, or asking for assistance, always remember to protect your back rather than trying to complete the task carelessly.

When to Worry About Back Pain?

back pain at work

Back pains at work are normal things. It happens to almost everyone. Even if you are following all the proper practices to prevent it, there may still be a chance that they may occur. Back pains will go away with time and self-care. However, if you back pains don’t seem to subside or symptoms are out of the ordinary, they may be a more serious issue to your health. If you feel or identify any of these symptoms in you, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Inability to move your back
  • Immense pain
  • Inability to find a comfortable position
  • Weakness with no apparent reason
  • Physical deformity in your back

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner and get the necessary help to your back pain or other health-related issues.