Managing Work-Related Injuries
Everyone is at risk for work-related low back or neck pain. Your lower back is a complex network of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. Contrary to common belief, it doesn’t take lifting a 40-pound bag of concrete to experience work-related low back pain. Simply reaching for a dropped pen during a meeting can cause painful results. The consequences leave no good choices: either continue to work with the pain or miss work!
Chiropractic care can help. In a recent survey of Minnesotans by Q Market Research (sponsored by Fulcrum Health), 97 percent of Minnesotans with back and neck pain say that chiropractic care helped them return to work sooner. The same survey found that those who were treated for back and neck pain by chiropractors reported missing less than 2 hours of work a year on average.
Learn more about work-related low back pain here.
Helping Work-related Back and Neck Pain
Chiropractic care has a long and consistent history of helping people suffering from work-related low back and neck pain. Using methods like spinal manipulation – a hands-on approach used to adjust spinal structures and restore mobility – chiropractic care has been shown to get individuals back to work faster than other treatments, such as medical care or physical therapy.
Chiropractic aims to provide high-quality care that relieves immediate pain while retaining your function, thus decreasing lost time from work. ChiroCare providers stress the importance of remaining active during recovery, while patients receive quality therapeutics to speed recovery time and decrease pain. Patients are involved in shared decision making for alternative interventions as necessary.
In fact, research has shown chiropractic to not only be a more effective treatment approach while you’re suffering from low back pain but also long after. While roughly ten percent of patients with work-related low back pain overall experience a second episode of pain, those who choose chiropractic care and complete their treatment are less likely to miss work in the future.
Common Causes of Work-Related Low Back and Neck Pain
Lifting or moving heavy objects can overexert or strain the back and neck muscles, especially when done repeatedly or with poor form. Instead, lift with your knees, contract your abdominal muscles, keep your head down and in line with your back and avoid any twisting motions. And if it’s too heavy, find a helper.
Slouching places undue stress on the back’s natural curvature. When standing, keep your weight balanced on both feet. If you sit for long periods of time, switch positions and take short walk breaks around the office or stretch your muscles to relieve tension with your back and neck and avoid any twisting motions. Ergonomically designed standing work stations may help change static posture throughout the work day.
Repeating certain movements puts an uneven load on your skeleton and muscles – especially from awkward or overstretched positions. Seek out ways to modify repetitive activities such as taking appropriate breaks between times of lifting or bending. This will allow your muscles to recover strength.
Psychological and emotional stress at work can cause a distinct physical reaction – muscles that are tight, tense and prone to injury. When stress hits, use positive coping techniques to reduce tension such as a quick walk outside or a coffee break with a colleague.
Facts About Work-Related Back and Neck Pain
60% of Higher-Income Minnesota Employees Continue to Work Despite Physical pain, for Fear of Losing their Jobs
An independent survey of Minnesotans found that many worked in pain for fear of losing their job. However, Chiropractors enjoy extremely high patient satisfaction rates. 97 percent of Minnesotans interviewed say chiropractic care helped them return to work sooner.
Source: Center on an Aging Society, Georgetown University
Source: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, November 2011
Source: Mercer Health and Benefits, 2009
Compared with physicians and physical therapists, chiropractic care for work-related low back pain results in:
- Consistently better outcomes
- Lower recurrence of pain
- Fewer surgeries
- Less painkiller usage
- Lower medical costs
Source: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, April 2011