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How to Prevent and Bounce Back From Work Injuries

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According to OSHA, back injuries affect more than 600,000 workers a year and can cost more than 50 billion dollars each year.  In recent years there has been an increase in physically demanding jobs and we can only expect this number to continue to rise.  The risk of low back pain should and can be prevented by understanding the four basic causes of low back injuries. 

  1. Weight:  Lifting too much weight or moving heavy objects can cause injuries.
  2. Repetition: Repetitive movements including twisting, rotating, or bending can cause injuries.
  3. Inactivity: An inactive job or desk job can also cause poor posture which can lead to increase back pain and potential for injuries.
  4. Lifestyle: Dehydration and poor nutrition can place workers at higher risk for back injuries.  Also, poor physical fitness can lead to increase overall work injuries.

Any combination of these four causes can significantly increase your risk for low back pain and injuries.  

At Deuk Spine, we work with our patients to ensure that they are not only able to work safely but we also educate them to prevent future injuries.   The following are a list of three simple suggestions that can significantly reduce back injuries: 

  1. Drink plenty of water:  Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is a myth.  The actual amount of ounces of water you should consume is your body weight (in pounds)÷ 2.  Healthy muscles are comprised of at least 70% water.  This means that `dehydration can lead to decrease in appropriate function and thus lead to injuries.
  2. Increase amount of isometric muscle endurance.  Try to obtain moderate level of exercise for at least 30 minutes per day for 3-5 days per week.   Overall you should move more and sit less- even in a sedentary work environment.
  3. Use tools to help decrease the burden of the work load.  You should not lift anything greater than 50 pounds without help! (Use carts, forklifts, other people, etc.)
  4. Repetitive movements should be limited and try to change your work routine to reposition your body for appropriate technique. 

Sometimes even with the best work environments, injuries can occur.  Let us help you get BACK to work!

If you have been injured because of a work accident, Deuk Spine Institute can help. Click here to learn more about our free MRI review.

Kamal Patel, M.D.

Written by Kamal Patel, M.D.

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