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back pain

  • Do You Have One of the Least Healthy Jobs in America?

    cheap office chairThere are some jobs in this country that seem like only a risk-taker could do. Firefighter, stuntman, soldier, and astronaut are a few occupation examples that might spring to mind. Sure, these jobs are dangerous, but none of them are among America's least healthy jobs. In fact, you could be surprised to learn that one of the least healthy jobs in America just might be yours.

    The dangers vary from falls to respiratory illness to repetitive strain injuries, and much more. The most common occupational complaint, and one experienced in a number of the occupations on this list, is back pain. At least 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain annually, and experts estimate 80% of the population will experience it throughout their lifetime.

    America's Most Unhealthy Jobs
    (With average number of illness and injury reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

    1. Construction Worker (125,120) - This one is not a huge surprise. Falls and repetitive injuries are common problems with construction workers.
    2. Office/Administrative Staff (83,320) - Did you know a desk job could be dangerous? Well, when you're sitting all day in a cheap office chair, it can be. Office workers can blame their office chairs for back pain, because without a lumbar pillow insert, a chair can result in back strain and poor posture. Also, inhaling toner and ink fumes all day doesn't help either.
    3. Sales Staff (76,210) - If they're not sitting in cheap office chairs all day, making sales over the phone, they're falling from ladders while gathering merchandise, straining to carry it to customers, or even being injured by malfunctioning displays.
    4. Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants (49,480) - These workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals and disease in hospitals and nursing homes, and also experience strains from lifting heavy patients.
    5. Janitors and Housekeepers (46,540) - The heavy carts that housekeepers push can cause back pain, and inhaling potent cleaning supplies can result in illness.
    6. Registered Nurses (20,500) - Lifting heavy patients, getting hit by gurneys, or even being attacked by patients' family members make this one of the most unhealthy jobs.
    7. Waiters (9,520) - Waiters are carrying trays weighing up to five pounds, all by themselves, often on one shoulder. So the next time you're worried about the weight you'll gain from a big meal, spare a thought for the person that had to carry that meal to your table.
    8. Computer Specialists (2,720) - These workers suffer a lot from repetitive injuries, but also from cramped workspaces.

    If one of these jobs happens to be yours, don't panic. There are some simple steps you can take to prevent illness and injury in most professions.

  • Take Precautions at Work and at Home to Avoid Lower Back Pain

    cheap office chairWhen the threat of back pain looms, it's important to do all you can to prevent it before you are stricken. Back pain is the number one complaint doctors get, with an estimated 80% of people experiencing it throughout their lifetimes. 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain annually, and the primary cause of this is spending long hours seated in a cheap office chair. But there are steps to take both at work and at home to offset the harm sitting can do to the body.

    At Work

    • Get the Right Chair - The best chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These quality office chairs are designed for people who spend long hours sitting at work. They are designed with a lumbar pillow insert to support your lower back, and ergonomically-adjustable components for preventing back pain. These chairs will keep you sitting up straight, and alleviate the pressure on your lower back.

     

    • Pay Attention to Ergonomics - A quality ergonomic office chair is not going to do any good unless the chair is appropriately adjusted. Make sure the chair's individual components are adjusted to suit the user's body, as most everyone's body dimensions are different. It's also important to make sure the entire workstation is ergonomically sound, meaning the computer monitor is just below eye level, the computer mouse is close enough to the user, and any regularly-used tools or utensils are within arm's reach.

     

    • Take Breaks - Taking regular breaks from your cheap office chair will have a very healthy effect on your lower back and your circulation. If you can take a break every hour, even to walk across the office and back, you will find yourself feeling better and focusing more.




    At Home

      • Stretch - The muscles of your back spend long hours in a strained, uncomfortable position when you are seated all day at work. When you have the opportunity at home, it's important to stretch out these muscles, to offset the time they spend cramped in a cheap office chair. It may seem more natural to stretch your lower back muscles by bending over and touching your toes, but it's actually arching your back and sticking out your bottom that stretches your lower back muscles.

     

      • Get Enough Sleep - While chronic back pain is the top cause of insomnia, lack of sleep paradoxically works to make lower back pain even worse. It's important to get enough restorative sleep to allow your body to work to heal itself, and to allow the muscles in your lower back to relax.

     

    • Exercise -Keeping your muscles in action as much as possible is very important to your back health. It is particularly important to concentrate on strengthening your core, as a strong core will help support your spine when you are seated, thus avoiding lower back pain.
  • Surgery is Not the Only Option for Treating Lower Back Pain

    desk chairs for back painBack pain is a common complaint, and 50% of working Americans claim to experience back pain symptoms each year. In fact, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) estimates that 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time.

    Dr. Mark Stouffer, spine surgeon with Intermountain Southern Utah Neurosciences Institute, explains in an interview with The Spectrum that, "The more stress you put on your back, the more at risk you are for developing degenerative disk problems."

    People who do manual labor are at particular risk for disc problems, but even working a simple desk job can lead to lower back pain.

    The human body is designed for standing and walking. When we spend extended period of time (like, say, eight hours) sitting behind a desk in a cheap office chair, it puts excess strain on the lower back. It may seem a stretch to blame desk chairs for back pain, but extended sitting, and especially sitting with bad posture, can cause a great deal of discomfort over time.

    Many people assume that surgery is the only option for treating lower back pain, and will therefore avoid consulting a doctor about treatment until the pain becomes unbearable. However, doctors always try to treat the pain with non-surgical options first. Unless there is severe spinal trauma, or serious symptoms of a larger problem, your doctor will not consider surgery a necessary treatment.

    The majority of back pain is treated without surgery, and in fact, Stouffer says 85 to 90% of patients improve without surgical intervention. Nonsurgical treatments for lower back pain include:

    1. Rest.
      "Modify your activities until you get back the acute pain," suggests Dr. Stouffer. However, it's best to continue to engage in some sort of aerobic activity, like walking. Once the acute pain has faded, maintaining a regular exercise routine can build stronger back and abdominal muscles, which will help support and take pressure off the spine.

    2. Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatories.
      "Ibuprofen or Aleve can help reduce swelling and treat the pain," says Dr. Stouffer. A lot of times, lower back muscles have stretched and tightened due to injury or strain, and that is what is causing the discomfort. An OTC anti-inflammatory can help relax the tightened muscles, and reduce any swelling that may be causing discomfort in the spine.

    3. Steroid Injection.
      Steroid injections are a more serious option to consider if other options have failed. "If pain doesn't subside, steroid injections can help," adds Stouffer.

      But the best treatment for lower back pain is naturally to stop it before it starts. Finding the best desk chairs for back pain will help. The best office chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. these chairs are designed for people who spend long hours sitting, and they have the proper support and adjustments to ensure that your body is in a healthy, comfortable position, and much of the strain on your lower back is alleviated.

    If you're starting to experience lower back pain in the office, you might consider looking into some new desk chairs for back pain relief.

  • Avoid Common Office Ailments With These Simple Tips

    p>best office chairs for lower back painWork is a very important part of most of our lives. It takes up most of our time (Usually 40+ hours a week), and whether or not it is what you want to be doing with your life, it is a very large focus of it. The bad part is, even your dream job can be hurting you, if you're working a desk job.

    There are many different ailments that can result from long hours spent sitting in a cheap office chair, and the repeated motions of everyday office life. These ailments manifest themselves in different ways, but many of those ways can often be painful and unhealthy. Take a look at some common ailments below, and what you can do to prevent them.

    1. Back Pain
      Back pain, especially lower back pain is the most common complaint among office workers. At least 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms annually, and about 31 million Americans are experiencing back pain at any given time. The human body is designed more for standing and walking, so sitting for long hours puts excess pressure on the muscles and spine in the lower back.

      But what can be done to prevent lower back injury? Believe it or not, the best office chairs for lower back pain can make all the difference. The best office chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These chairs are designed for people who spend long hours sitting, and have all the right support and adjustments for optimum comfort. The most important feature of the best office chairs for lower back pain is the lumbar pillow insert -- this lifts and stretches the muscles in the lower back, and helps take some of the weight off of the lower vertebrae.

    2. Repetitive Strain Injuries
      Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a cumulative trauma disorder stemming from prolonged repetitive, forceful, or awkward movements. The result is damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, shoulder, forearm, and hand, which can cause pain, weakness, numbness, or impairment of motor control. The most common form of RSI is carpal tunnel syndrome.

      Office ergonomics are also helpful to prevent RSI. Make sure your office chair is adjusted to the appropriate height, and that you are not bending your wrists at awkward angles (in, out, or upwards) to type. Also, if you use a computer mouse, make sure that the mouse is moved close enough to you. A gel wrist pad will also help to keep your wrist in a neutral position while mousing.

    3. Headaches
      Headaches may seem like an unavoidable problem at work, especially if you're under a lot of stress. But there may be other things causing your work headaches, keeping you from focusing fully on your work, and being less productive.

      Your headaches could be caused by a number of different triggers: dim lighting, screen glare, smells, hunger, caffeine, dehydration, etc. Make sure your work station is adjusted appropriately so that your computer screen is at the right height, distance, and angle. Put an anti-glare screen protector on your screen, and ask to move to a different cubicle if yours is near direct fluorescent lights or unpleasant smells (like too much perfume).

    >Have you found your own ways to avoid these common office ailments? Let us know in the comments!

  • Don't Fall Victim to Lower Back Pain in the Office

    best office chairs for lower back painBack pain is the most common complaint among office workers, and in fact, at least 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms every year. 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time, and they may not know what to do about it.

    Well, the most important step to take is to make sure you have the best office chairs for lower back pain, and that they are adjusted correctly. There are other steps to take to prevent or alleviate back pain, such as taking breaks from your desk, stretching, and taking walks, but for the time you do have to be seated at your desk, finding the best office chair for lower back pain will do you a lot of good.

    The best chairs for lower back pain are ergonomic computer chairs. These quality office chairs are not only comfortable, but are equipped with the cushioning and adjustments that will help to keep your body supported and healthy. Cheap office chairs are often not particularly comfortable, and you get what you pay for.

    The most important feature of the best office chairs for lower back pain is the lumbar support. Most quality office chairs come equipped with a lumbar support pillow, which cushions the lower back area. This helps to lift and stretch the muscles in the lower back, and to alleviate some of the stress on the lower vertebrae. This area of the spine supports much of your body's weight when in the seated position, so it is very helpful to alleviate some of that strain.

    It's also important to make sure that your chair is properly adjusted. You may not have previously thought that these adjustable components of your chair were very important, and maybe even kept them the same as the person who used the chair before you. Even the best office chairs for lower back pain will be of no use to you if they are not appropriately adjusted. Using in improperly-adjusted chair can lead to neck pain, muscle tension, and leg pain, in addition to back problems. There is no universal office chair, because there is no universal body size. Make sure you adjust your chair accordingly, and you will likely experience a good deal of relief.

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