No matter how much you love your job, there are always days of strain and headaches. However for some, work brings aches and pains daily that develop into more serious health problems. Heavy physical work, awkward postures, forceful and lifting movements, bending and twisting, whole body vibration, and static work postures compound the risks of pain and injury to workers.
Here are 5 high-risk jobs associated with back injuries and back pain:
- Nursing Personnel: Compared to other occupations, nursing personnel are among the highest at risk for musculoskeletal disorders. One of the most difficult aspects of a nurse’s job is the physical challenge of being on his/her feet all day. Also, frequently moving patients in and out of wheelchairs, assistive devices, beds, bathrooms, or from place to place. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports nearly 80% of all back and shoulder injuries result from moving patients.
- Construction Workers: Employees who work at a construction site are repeatedly lifting, bending, carrying, pulling, and tugging. Repetitive motions put stress on muscles, tendons, and joints thus leading to overuse injuries and back pain. Workers who provide overhead work, such as painters and sheet metal workers, tend to have shoulder and neck problems. Construction personnel who climb ladders or work on scaffolding are more at risk for falling. Serious spine injuries from falls can cause disability and can be life-threatening.
- Warehouse Workers: Behind the aisles of consumer goods is a world of forklifts, slippery floors, and accidents which occur on a daily basis. Working in a warehouse often entails lifting, forceful movements, bending, twisting, carrying, and awkward body positions. Some warehouse jobs require truck driving or operating industrial vehicles that causes whole-body vibration. This prolonged exposure to vibration can cause backache and extreme soreness. Many warehouse workers experience pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in the back, neck, shoulders, arms, wrists and hands.
- Truck Drivers: Back and neck injuries are among the most common injuries suffered by professional truck drivers. Professional truckers drive 5 to 7 days a week, 8 to 10 hours a day (or more), tens of thousands of miles a year, with very few breaks. These extended periods of sitting are followed by bursts of strenuous activity such as lifting and bending, which naturally leaves them susceptible to back and neck injuries.
- Farmers, Landscapers, and Gardeners: Back pain is common among farmers and landscapers because of the daily and demanding physicality. Many farming tasks require heavy lifting, repetitive motion, bending over, and the endurance of tremendous amounts of walking. Hedge trimming, tree pruning, and planting involve lifting, reaching, bending, and stooping. These constant repeated movements lead to overuse back injury.