Back pain is a common problem that affects most of us at some point. In 2014/15 9.5 million working days were lost due to musculoskeletal disorders including back pain. To put that figure in perspective that’s just over 26,000 years of lost productivity. In some cases the back problem will be temporary and the sufferer will recover and return to work, but conditions vary enormously in their severity and can occur at any time.
Preventing back pain
How you sit, stand, lie and lift can all affect your back. When you think about how much time the average person spends sat at a computer, it’s important to be aware of your posture in order to help prevent injuries.
One of the biggest causes of back injury, particularly at work, is lifting or handling objects incorrectly. When moving an object at work or home you should:
- think before you lift
- start in a good position
- keep the load close to your waist
- avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways, particularly when your back is bent
- keep your head up
- know your limits
- push rather than pull
- distribute the weight evenly
From spinal surgery to physiotherapy or joining a gym, the treatments are many and varied. Exercise is an excellent way of reducing the chances of suffering from back pain and walking, swimming, yoga or pilates can all help to improve flexibility and strengthen the back muscles. That said, we are all still susceptible.
What if you do slip a disc?
Being off work with a bad back could wreck your financial plans, so it’s important to have adequate income protection in place. This replaces a proportion of your income if you are off work and can help to relieve the pressure on you and your family so that you can concentrate on recovery rather than worry about the next bill.