Workplace Safety Guides

   Back Pain


People have always been accustomed to supporting or backing a cause, organization, sport, or politician. So it would seem that it would be just as important to back your back.

Back pain is not new. The Egyptians were afflicted with back problems 5,000 years ago, and so were the people of the Middle Ages. Today it is among the most common industrial injuries and one of the leading health problems that interfere with our active working life.

Back injuries account for a large proportion of lost time and money. Less than one third of injuries in industry are back injuries and over one half of the industrial insurance dollars go to pay for them.

Most people aren't sure what causes their back pain. It could be the way we live or little things we do like twisting to throw away a piece of paper or even the way we dance. It could be caused by simply pushing, pulling or lifting an object.

Cumulative trauma can also be a hidden cause of back pain. Repetitive bending or twisting can weaken the back, much like bending a wire back and forth several times can weaken the wire. And when force is applied, such as lifting something unexpectedly heavy, it can cause a back injury.

Poor posture in conjunction with cumulative trauma can also cause back pain, just sitting or lying down could cause pain. However, recovery from back pain is usually quick.

Some back specialists feel that many back pains are psychosomatic. Most of them agree that back pain is more noticeable with tension, worry, fatigue, anxiety, boredom, family problems, lack of understanding, and unpleasant situations. Sometimes less significant back problems can be aggravated by these symptoms.

Index of Workplace Safety articles | Next Article: Construction of the Back