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Back Injuries

Any damage, wear, or trauma to the bones, muscles, or other tissues of the back is termed Back injuries. Common back injuries that an individual come across include sprains or strains, herniated disks, and fractured vertebrae. Every injury starts with back pain and the pain starts with the lower back because it is very flexible and bears the weight of entire body.

Recent studies have shown that up to 1/3rd back injuries can be prevented by bettering the job design. More and more jobs involve the use of computers this resulted in sedentary life at workplace too. Sedentary lifestyles conduce to weakness of muscles and hamstrings. Incorrect lifting methods, wrong posture, Repetitive lifting, bending, and twisting the torso owe the credit of causing severe and frequent low-back pain. The misappropriation of muscles cause stress on the spine that lead to hemorrhage or internal bleeding of spinal column.

Lower back is affected first with injury for its distance from the weight that the hands bears create substantial stress on lower back, especially at the disc between the fifth lumbar and the first sacral vertebrae

For lifting the back muscle force is eight times the load weight and four times the torso weight combined. The normal range of strength capability of the erector spinal muscle at the low back is 2,200 to 5,500 N. For example, if a person lifts a load more than the upper limit of muscle capability then it would create strain on back.

In addition to the back muscle strength the compression force on the L5/S1 disc must also be taken care of.

Load or weight lifting task, involves the influence of several factors like the weight and the position of the load relative to the center of the price, degree of twisting of the torso, the size and shape of the object, and the distance the load is moved determine the load on a spine.

Precautions to avoid injuries

   Companies can go for strength testing of his workers to avoid back injuries. Testing muscle strength reduces the risk of injuries up to one-third by stopping an individual from taking up the assignment that exceeds their strength capabilities.

   Correct lifting technique should be taught to the employees so that incorrect way of lifting would not harm his back and minimum stress is laid on the lower back

   Physical conditioning or stretching exercises reduce the risk of muscle strain

   Loads should possibly be hold close to the body, at approximate height of the waist.

   Minimize torso twisting in materials handling

   Adjust the height of a pallet or shelf. Lifting below knee height or above shoulder height is more strenuous than lifting between these limits. Obstructions which prevent an employee's body contact with the object being lifted also increase the risk of injury

   Pneumatic lifts, conveyors or automated materials handling or any other mechanical equipment should be used for moving heavy loads.

   Factors such as whole body vibration, psychosocial factors, age, sex, body size, health, physical fitness, and nutrition conditions of a person, determines the incidence rate and severity of low back-pain.