We’ve spoken quite a bit lately about what the most common warehouse injuries are and how you can avoid them.
But even when the best safety practices are followed, accidents can happen. The body can only take so much, and sometimes, something gives.
If there’s one area it’s mostly likely to give, it’s the back. For a back to be injured, a forklift doesn’t need to run into you. A used pallet rack doesn’t need to fall on you.
Sometimes, back injuries will happen just from bending over to pick something up. Sure, there were actions and events that lead to that injury, but ultimately, all it takes is one wrong twist.
So the question is, if you suddenly find yourself to have a back injury in the warehouse, what do you do?
Taking Care of Lower Back Injury in the Warehouse
Since lower back injuries are the most common, we figured we would start there.
You’re definitely going to want to lie down after injuring your back. It’s important to give your lower back support and not overextend it in either direction.
Generally, sleeping on your back or side is recommended. If you’re sleeping on your back, put a pillow under your knees. This pushes the base of your spine down to the mattress, allowing it to rest better.
For those sleeping on their side, make sure to put a pillow between your knees. This keeps your legs straight, reducing back and hip strain.
If you insist on sleeping on your stomach, put a pillow or blanket underneath your lower abdominals. This will prevent your lower back from overextending, allowing, it to rest.
(Tip: A quick Google search can help you find some videos of how to do these stretches)
Backstretches are necessarily the most masculine activity, but when you’ve hurt your back, they’re a must.
Get on all fours with your neck and back parallel with the ground. Engage your abs and tighten your buttocks.
Now, breath in deep while raising your back and lowering your head, curving your spine.
Hold for a moment, then exhale while arching your back downward and lifting your head up.
Repeat. Move slowly and purposefully. Don’t rush.
Seated Spinal Twist:
Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs out in front of you. Keeping your right leg extended, pull your left leg in to your chest. Now, place your left foot over your extended right leg.
Once you have your legs in place, set your right elbow on the opposite side of your left knee. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, push your right elbow against the knee, turn your head towards your backside and twisting your torso.
Take a few more breaths, twisting yourself a little further each time. Once you’ve completed this, switch your legs around and do the other side.
With stretching, it’s best to do it both in the morning and before you go to bed at night.
Further Back Maintenance
Rotating cold and hot presses against the injured area is always good. This helps to sooth the pain and loosen up the muscle. Once you return to work, you might want to consider a back brace. There are many options available, and they can add some great support.
If professional weightlifters wear support belts when lifting, there’s no reason you can’t wear a brace while working.
Stay safe, take care of yourself, and you’ll be fine.
Come back soon to hear about upper and mid back pain!
Have you injured your back while working in the warehouse? What helped you through it? Any tips or advice you would like to give?