Give your employees the tools to take care of their back and maintain productivity
Back Care Awareness Week (2-6th October) is an annual campaign dedicated to promoting good back care practices and raising awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy back.
Neglecting back care can lead to a multitude of problems, both for individuals and employers. If not taken seriously, back issues can cause chronic pain, reducing quality of life and productivity. Work-related factors, such as poor posture, stress, sedentary lifestyles, and incorrect lifting techniques are some common factors contributing to back problems.
Preventative measures are crucial to avoid more serious conditions like disc prolapse, muscle strains, and chronic spinal disorders.
What can you suggest people do if they are experiencing back pain?
Keep moving: Something that might be surprising is that bed rest is not always a good thing for back pain. Nowadays healthcare professionals suggest that keeping moderately active as much as possible can help a back problem recover more quickly.
Stretch it out: Simple back exercises and stretches can often help reduce back pain. These can be done at home and as often as necessary. The NHS have shared some useful exercises and stretches to try. Gentle treatments from chiropractors, osteopaths or massage therapists can also be helpful to release tension, correct misalignment, and aid recovery.
Hot and cold packs: Applying hot and cold compresses can help ease the pain. Applying something cold like an ice pack can help reduce the initial swelling of a recent back injury, and afterwards a hot compress can help relax tight muscles to aid recovery.
Painkillers: Painkillers and anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen, may help to ease discomfort to improve movement, possibly resulting in a shorter recovery time. However, certain painkillers are not suitable for everyone, so it’s important to consult a medical professional to find the best one to use. Always read the instructions before using them.
Stay positive: Stress and anxiety can increase muscle tension and prolong the pain, and it’s important to be patient. The pain will most likely subside in time so take it slow and steady.
Employers have a significant role to play in raising awareness about back care in the workplace. This includes undertaking DSE assessments, promoting ergonomic workstations, ensuring chairs, desks, and computer screens are appropriately positioned. Regular breaks and encouraging employees to stretch and move throughout the day also helps reduce muscle tension. Providing training for correct lifting techniques and promoting physical activity can further contribute to a healthier work environment.
What can you do during Back Care Awareness Week?
Employers can organise workshops and educational sessions – these initiatives could include information on maintaining good posture, exercises to strengthen the back, and techniques to minimise the risk of injury. Occupational health professionals or local chiropractors and osteopaths can provide valuable advice and guidance to employees.
In conclusion, neglecting back care can have severe consequences for individuals and employers alike. During Back Care Awareness Week, it’s an ideal opportunity to highlight the importance of looking after our backs and take steps to prevent back problems. By raising awareness and implementing measures to promote a healthier work environment, employers can play a crucial role in protecting the well-being of their workforce