Low Back Injury PreventionMusculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are common,
costly and frustrating. Think prevention!
If you have ever experienced lower back fatigue or discomfort, you are not alone. Nearly everyone at some point has back pain that interferes with work, routine daily activities, or recreation.
Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the US, only headache is more common. Most lower back injuries are mechanical in nature, the result of acute strain or chronic disorders such as degenerative disc disease or arthritis. Acute low back discomfort may be caused by work factors, a sports injury, work around the house, a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other lifestyle factors. Fortunately, most occurrences of low back discomfort go away within a matter of days. By far, the best way to manage low back fatigue and discomfort is to PREVENT it in the first place!
Potential Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) to the Low Back:
- degenerative disc disease
- fatigue strains (muscle or tendon) and sprains (ligaments)
Ergonomics is the science of fitting the work to the worker, making sure jobs and tasks are within the worker’s capabilities and limitations. It’s part of your company’s commitment to provide a safe workplace.
A systematic ergonomics improvement process reduces injury risk, improves work performance and efficiently builds a better end product.
Ergonomic design principles for low back injury prevention:
- Avoid repeated lifting that requires excessive forward bending
- Avoid sustained forward bending
Poor work practices, a poor health profile and no recognition of early signs and symptoms by workers contribute to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
An on-location, preventive health care specialist coaching and training your workplace athletes removes individual risk factors that lead to these common and costly injuries.
Prevention tools and techniques for low back injury prevention:
- Use proper body mechanics and work technique.
- Prepare your body for work by properly warming up.
- Utilize good health habits — stay hydrated, pay attention to your nutrition and keep your body fit for work.
Early Recognition, Reporting and Intervention
At the first signs of excessive fatigue and discomfort, employees should be trained to recognize it and strongly encouraged to report it. When an early report is received, an on-location preventative health care professional should conduct a one-on-one early intervention consultation to identify the root causes and help the worker utilize injury prevention best practices.