Chiropractic Works with Dr. Birk

Low Back Injuries in the Workplace

Posted: March 18, 2013
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

Approximately one third of people who experience low back pain will consult a doctor of chiropractic and of these people, it is often people who injure their low back on the job. One study (Wasiak R, Kim J, Pransky GS) looked at how chiropractic care was used for these on-the-job injuries. In this report from Massachusetts, about 89% of workers initiated chiropractic care within 30 days of the injury and approximately half (48%) were done with their care within the 30 day time frame.

The lower spine and disks are vulnerable to injury at work and during lifting. Heavy loads or simply awkward or stooped positions can be risks and should be avoided. Of interest, more people tend to injure their back in the first two hours of a work shift. It has been suggested that this is because the disks swell up with water during sleep and are more pressurized first thing in the morning. Or perhaps we’re not as attentive to lifting with good form, first thing in the morning.

It is imparitive to get checked soon after suffering a back injury so you have the best chance of recovery and getting back on the job quickly. Bed rest and staying inactive are usually not healthy options for treating the low back. Inactivity can make back sprains worse by causing the muscles to weaken. Walking keeps pressure off of the disks and keeps the muscles engaged. If walking aggravates your pain, then it has to be avoided in the short term. Of course lifting following a back injury has to be limited. It's important to lift with your legs and to avoid twisting motions.

Chiropractic adjustments are designed to improve the mobility of the spinal joints, improve posture and decrease tension on the delicate ligaments and nerves. In many studies chiropractic care has exceeded the results seen with conventional medical treatments such as medications or surgery.

When a back injury occurs, commonly the vertebrae move out of their normal position from the stretch of the supporting ligaments. Simply leaving the ligaments in this stretched-out position may not be healthful in the long run. Since the ligaments are injured, the vertebral joints tend to move abnormally. This is called a mechanical back problem and is one of the most common diseases of the lumbar spine.