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What Can Cause a Back Injury at Work?

What Can Cause a Back Injury at Work?

There are countless potential causes for back pain at work, some of which can be prevented with proper precautions. By understanding the following most common causes of work-related back pain, you can help avoid injury and stay safe. 

Poor Posture

An injury is the last thing you’d expect while sitting at your workstation, but one of the most common causes of work-related back pain is actually due to poor posture. When sitting at a computer all day, it’s easy to start slouching and rounding your shoulders, which can put quite a bit of pressure on the back.

By keeping your back and shoulders straight, you can minimize strain on your muscles and joints. Also, be sure to get up and stretch every 45 minutes to get the blood flowing to the rest of your body.

Incorrect Lifting Technique

If your job is physically demanding and requires some heavy lifting, it’s crucial to use the correct lifting technique. Lifting with your back instead of your legs can easily lead to a spinal injury. Keeping your back straight and bending at the knees will take the pressure off your back and make the lift easier.

If you do happen to strain your back while lifting, be sure to take a break and rest until the pain subsides. If it doesn’t improve after a few days, be sure to see an orthopedic specialist.


Repetitive movements in the workplace can just as easily lead to a back injury as lifting something heavy. Activities such as pulling, twisting, or reaching can cause the muscles and ligaments in your back to become tired and strained.

Whenever you are doing a repetitive task, take breaks often to move around and stretch. If the task is causing you pain, it’s a sign that you’re doing too much and need a break. When possible, try mixing up your work assignments throughout the day to give your back a rest.

Slipping and Falling

If your job involves being on your feet all day or in an environment where slips are common, such as a restaurant or retail store, you’re at a higher risk of slipping and falling. This can easily lead to a spinal injury, especially if you fall on your back. 

To prevent this, be sure to wear non-slip shoes with good traction and avoid wet surfaces. If you do fall, be sure to get up slowly and with your weight on the balls of your feet.

What to Do If You Get Injured

Taking proper precautions or preventive measures at work may significantly reduce your chances of experiencing a back injury at work. However, if one does occur, there are some things you should keep in mind.

If the pain is severe, be sure to seek medical attention right away. Ice and heat may help to relieve some of the pain and inflammation. Rest is also key – take time off work until you feel better. Finally, consult with an orthopedic physician who specializes in workers’ compensation to determine the best course of treatment.

Contact Motion Orthopaedics

While taking precautions and preventive measures at work can preserve your back, accidents happen. Motion Orthopaedics offers world-class occupational medicine to help get you back on your feet and back to work as soon as possible.

If you have any questions regarding our occupational health services or workers’ compensation, please click here to request an appointment today. 

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