Work Related Back Pain
What is back pain?
Answer: Back pain is any ache, pain, tension, or disorder that affects the muscles or bones of the back from the base of the neck to the hips. It can be caused by damage to the muscles or the bones of the spine and ribs or to the disc between the vertebrae.
What causes back pain?
Answer: Back pain can be caused by many work situations. The exact cause is often unclear, but back pain is more common in roles that involve heavy manual labour; handling tasks in heavy industry and manual handling in awkward places like delivery work; repetitive tasks such as manual packing of goods and sitting at a workstation for a long period of time (if the workstation is not correctly arranged or adjusted to fit the person such as working with computers), driving long distances or driving over rough ground particularly if the seat is not, or cannot be, properly adjusted or adequately sprung, stooping, bending over or crouching or pushing, pulling or dragging loads that require excessive force; working beyond normal abilities and limits or when physically overtired and carrying out stretching, twisting and reaching tasks.
What are the symptoms?
Answer: Painful, tenderness or stiffness of the backbone, unable to straighten or bend your back properly. In extreme cases sufferers are unable to move due to the pain and numbness or paralysis may occur. For muscular problems there may be tenderness, aches and pains, stiffness, weakness, tingling, numbness, cramp and swelling to your muscles of the torso, which may cause some breathing issues too e.g. pain on taking deep breaths.
What advice is available for back pain?
Answer: The general advice to those suffering from back pain is to stay active and try simple pain relief. However, if the pain persists or causes extreme discomfort then you should contact your GP for medical advice. Because back pain has many causes, a precise diagnosis is not always possible and this makes management of the pain all the more important. There are options that your medical advisers may suggest such as physiotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathy.
What law applies to back pain?
Answer: Employers have legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to ensure the health and safety of employees at work and assess and reduce potential risks. Your employer has a duty to do something if there is a problem which your work is causing or if it is aggravating existing symptoms and may be able to refer you to an occupational health provider for some medical help.
Call Roberts Jackson now for more information on these matters. We specialise in ALL work related muscular injuries and our services are FREE!
0800 612 3152