At our Ealing chiropractor clinic – The Spine & Joint Centre, we see people from all walks of life.
One industry that is more prone to back issues and injuries than any other is construction. According to the evidence, some 30% of construction workers suffer from back issues at some time during their careers.
At our clinic, we put a wide range of professions under the umbrella of construction. It doesn’t just include labourers and bricklayers but carpenters, plumbers, plasterers and electricians too. Each of these professions have their own challenges and most put a lot of stress on areas of their bodies like the lower back.
Plasterers, for example, don’t generally lift a lot of heavy weights but they do spend much of their time getting into awkward positions when doing their work. The same can be said for electricians and plumbers who often have to work in confined or difficult spaces.
The Challenges Construction Workers Face
There are various things that lead to back problems in this demographic. Many chronic injuries develop over a long period of time and people live with them because they are seen as ‘part of the job’.
- By far the biggest cause of back injuries is from the lifting heavy objects, something that’s often unavoidable in the construction industry.
- Then there’s the question of what is called ‘unequal’ lifting, where you may be bending or twisting at odd angles while carrying even less heavy objects.
- The use of a wrong lifting technique or poor postural stance can put a lot of pressure on the back.
- Even walking around with a heavy tool belt could cause strain on the back area.
- Construction workers and builders usually work long hours, performing repetitive tasks with prolonged periods where strain is being put onto the back.
Just like many of us at work, those in the construction industry also get into bad habits. Lifting something too heavy when you should get help or just twisting into a certain position to reach a difficult area when finishing off a job are two examples.
Each sector of the industry has its own challenges. For instance, if you are a truck driver who is working in construction, the constant vibration of the heavy truck might cause stress on your lower back and joints. Unloading and loading items onto the truck may also eventually lead to problems.
How to Improve Back Health in the Construction Industry
The first thing we recommend is to be aware of the issues and have some consideration for your back when working. It’s important to get into good habits. The industry is a lot better at highlighting issues in this area nowadays, not surprising when you consider how many working days each year are lost because of it.
There are simple things that workers can do. For example, for overhead work or work that involves stooping or kneeling, using tools with extension handles could ease pressure on the back. Limiting the amount of time undertaking repetitive tasks that put constant strain on the back and resting will make a difference. Having some lifting and handling training is also beneficial.
How Your Ealing Chiropractor Can Help
Back issues are likely to get gradually worse if you don’t do something about them. Simply deciding that it’s part of the job and suffering in silence shouldn’t be an option.
A chiropractor will be able to carefully assess your lower back pain and, through gentle manipulation, help improve the condition. We’ll also be able to advise on better ways to look after your back while you are at work.
If you are having lower back problems and want to do something about it, contact your Ealing chiropractor at The Spine & Joint Centre today to book an appointment.