The most common workplace injuries are strains and sprains. The most common place in the body where these injuries happen – the back.
Construction workers push their bodies harder than just about any other type of worker. Heavy lifting, frequent bending, twisting, and sudden movements – all of these things are part of a construction worker’s day.
It stands to reason that many suffer from chronic pain back. Even if an injury hasn’t taken place, a construction worker has to deal with general aches and tension.
However, there are things you can do to get rid of back pain. If you’re a construction worker, keep reading for seven ways to ease the pain.
1. Stretching Exercises
Stretching before and after work is a great way to help get rid of back pain. It also helps loosen muscles throughout the body, which reduces the risk of injury.
By learning some basic stretching exercises and practicing them every day, you’ll soon notice your back pain lessening and your flexibility increasing. This isn’t going to completely eliminate pain altogether, but it will definitely help.
One simple exercise involves lying flat on your back and bringing one knee up to your chest and holding it for ten seconds. Then, switch knees.
Another involves lying on your stomach and using your elbows to prop yourself up. This creates a slight arch in your back that helps reduce tension.
You should also look into yoga poses that help with back pain.
2. Cold and Hot Therapy
Using ice followed by heat is a great way to get rid of back pain after a long day. Cold helps reduce inflammation and heat will help with blood circulation and the healing process.
At the first sign of pain, apply an ice pack to the painful area. Keep the pack on for about 20 minutes. Make sure you use a towel or some kind of cloth to avoid direct skin contact with the ice.
After that, switch to a heating pad. You can also use gel packs or hot water bottles. Keep the heat on the painful area for about 30 minutes. You can also use a hot tub or sauna for heat therapy.
3. Change the Way You Sleep
Chronic back pain can make sleeping difficult. And as you probably know, getting good rest is important when you work in the construction industry.
It turns out that lying motionless isn’t good for back pain at all. It can actually lead to further complications. It’s actually better to keep moving.
Since not sleeping isn’t an option, there are changes you can make in your sleeping habits that will help your back.
First, try changing your position. Sleep on your side and put a pillow between your knees. The pillow will help keep your spine stable and reduce the tension on your back. If you must sleep on your back, put a pillow underneath your knees.
4. Work Smart
As a construction worker, you have to remain conscious of the way you work. This means lifting correctly and keeping your body’s exertion under control.
Construction usually requires a lot of heavy lifting, so make sure you’re always lifting with your legs to take the strain off of your back. Relying on your back to do most of the work will ultimately result in injury.
You should also make sure to keep the object you’re lifting close to your body. Trying to reach for a heavy object forces your body into a vulnerable position and puts pressure on the muscles in your back.
When performing repetitive motion tasks, stay conscious of the way you move. Try not to twist at the waist too much or with too much exertion. You should also try to lighten loads before lifting, when possible.
If you need to get rid of back pain fast, try anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen. These non-steroidal drugs will provide short-term pain relief by reducing muscle inflammation. They also reduce nerve stimulation.
Anti-inflammatories are a much better option than prescription painkillers, which are damaging to the liver and addictive if used for too long.
However, you don’t want to rely on ibuprofen or naproxen too much, as they may cause gastrointestinal issues. Talk to your doctor about the safe use of anti-inflammatories for extended amounts of time. You should also ask about other pain management options if the discomfort is becoming a major problem and try to avoid taking too many pills of any kind.
6. Try a Foam Back Roller
Foam rollers have gained popularity in recent years as tools used to get rid of back pain. They help by messaging your spine and are great if your pain is primarily focused in the middle of your back.
These rollers are easy to use and affordable. They’re commonly used during yoga, Pilates, and physical therapy. You can find them online or at sporting goods stores.
All you have to do is place them on the ground in a space big enough to lay down. The roller should be perpendicular to your body.
Lie down on the roller, positioning it under your shoulders. Slowly roll back and forth along the areas that you’re experiencing the most pain.
7. Wear a Back Brace
If you work in construction, you need to consider wearing a back brace while on the job. They do a number of things, all which can help get rid of back pain.
Braces help reduce pressure on your back during heavy lifting. They also improve your posture, which relieves tension in your back.
A back brace will also provide support while working and make overall movement more comfortable. Look online for quality back braces and start wearing one every time you work.
Get Rid of Back Pain Now
As a construction worker, your back is one of your most useful tools. Unfortunately, it’s probably under a lot of stress every day. Try the tips discussed above and find what helps you get rid of back pain most effectively.
You may find that alternating between a few of these techniques works best. Soon you’ll live a more comfortable life, on and off the job.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your options.