man with aching back

5 Most Common Causes of Work-Related Pain and How to Avoid Them

Among all the causes of body pain, workplace-related causes are often the most common. This is especially true for people in manual labor industries, but even office workers can be prone to experiencing workplace-related pain. Whatever your industry may be, it is important to address work-related pain as soon as it starts. Pain is a symptom of an underlying issue. If you don’t address both the symptom and the cause, you may inadvertently make your pain worse.

That said, here are the top causes of workplace-related pain and what you can do to avoid them.

Poor posture

In both manual and non-physical jobs, poor posture can cause all sorts of pain in the body. For instance, a fast-food worker who stands all day and an office employee who sits at a desk for eight hours can experience similar types of pain if they both have improper posture.

With that in mind, it is important to be mindful of correct posture all throughout the day, whether you are sitting at a desk or carrying heavy sacks on your back. Proper posture is the key to avoiding work-related pain as well as other conditions, such as spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, and rounded shoulders.

If you are already experiencing pain, it is best to get treatment for the specific body part affected as soon as possible. For example, if you constantly have pain in your neck, seek neck pain relief treatment from a chiropractor and try to take the strain off your neck as much as possible.

Non-ergonomic furniture

Having ergonomic furniture in the workplace is one of the best ways to avoid work-related pain, especially for office workers who spend most of their day sitting. If the furniture in your workplace has poor ergonomics, suggest replacements to the management. However, having your employer replace the furniture for all employees in the office can be unlikely, but you can always make do with what you have.

For example, if the desk is too high for your chair, try sitting on a pillow while you work. Or if the chair is too uncomfortable to sit in, line it with cushioning or bring your own office chair to work.

men lifting boxes

Improper lifting

Lifting heavy things incorrectly is a major cause of body pain for people in the manual labor industry. For this reason, employers have proper protocols for lifting, which include instructing workers to lift with their legs, not their back.

If your job requires you to lift heavy things regularly, using improper lifting techniques may be the cause of your pain, particularly in your lower back. In this case, it’s not too late to correct it; review the employee manual on how to lift things properly. If necessary, ask a supervisor to demonstrate for you.

Inactivity

Many jobs require little physical activity, which is the case for most people who work in an office. Along with poor posture, inactivity is a common cause of office-related body pain.

Luckily, there are many ways you can avoid this cause, such as pacing from time to time, standing during your breaks, and exercising regularly. Even though you may be sitting for the better part of the day, taking short breaks to walk around the office and stretch your muscles can reduce the chances of developing pain by a significant amount.

Overexertion

Putting too much strain on your body is a surefire way to cause pain. Even if you have good physical conditioning, going overboard can overextend your muscles and increase your chances of injury. For example, if you lift a load that is heavier than what you are used to, the overexertion on your muscles will likely manifest in pain. It may even cause an injury to your lower back.

The same goes with working for long periods of time. Whether it is a physically demanding job or not, continuing to work beyond your physical capacity is one of the best ways to develop body pain. That said, it is important to know your limitations and avoid going beyond them if you can help it. Moreover, take a rest when you need to, listen to your body, and always know when it’s time to stop.

Since we spend so much of our time in the workplace, it only makes sense that it is where we develop conditions that cause all sorts of physical pain. Now that you know the most common causes of workplace-related pain, you will hopefully be able to avoid them altogether and, more importantly, maintain productivity without compromising your health.

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