Two posts ago, we talked about dealing with lower back pain in the warehouse. Back pain is something almost everyone has to deal with at some point in their life. Due to the physical activity involved in warehouse work, it is very prevalent in the material handling industry.
By following proper techniques, a lot of injuries can be avoided. However, but injuries will still happen.
How you react to these injuries can greatly affect how quickly (and how completely) you recover from them. Today, we will talk about ways you can deal with upper back pain. While not quite as common as lower back pain, mid and upper back injuries are still a regular occurrence and demand equal attention.
Here is how upper and mid back pain happens, and what you can do about it.
Causes of Upper and Mid Back Pain
Poor posture can be a bit cause of pain in the mid and upper back. If you slouch when you sit or let your shoulders hang forward when you walk around, you could be putting unnecessary strain on yourself.
Over extending or over arching your back are common causes of mid back pain. When your arching your back forward, your mid back becomes the focal point for all of the pressure. It is very easy to pull something when in this position. Instead, try and keep your entire back straight.
Finally, arm and shoulder strain can ultimately have an effect on the upper back, particularly in the shoulder blades.
Treating Upper and Mid-Back Pain
The Obvious Methods
It should go without saying, but rest is very important when you hurt your back. Your muscles need to relax and heal. Anytime you’re walking or standing, your back is being used to some degree. The only way to rest your back is to sit or lay down. This is hard to do for some people, but it’s very important that you do.
While you’re sitting or lying, make sure to be treating your injured area with ice or heat. It also helps to take some anti-inflammatory medicine.
Exercises for Upper and Mid Back Pain
1. Pectoral Stretch
Stand in front of an open doorway, and raise your and place your forearms so that they run parallel with the doorframe. Now push your chest and head through the doorway while keeping your arms against the outside of the doorframe. You should feel this in your shoulder blades. Hold for 15 seconds, relax, and repeat.
2. Upper Back Stretch
Sit up as straight as you can in a chair and place your hands behind your head. Your elbows should be pointing straight out. Now, push back on your hands with your head as you breathe in, slowly curving your spine. Hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat.
3. Mid Back Stretch
Lie down on the floor on your back. Now bring your knees to your chest (or as close as you can) and hug them with your arms. You should feel your back arching forward, stretching the middle of the your back. Hold for 10 seconds, then release and repeat.
Consistency and Care
As much as you want the pain to be gone and your back to return to 100%, the only way that’s going to happen is through consistency in stretching/exercising and rest. Back injuries require time. There is simply no way around it (though a trip to the massage therapist or chiropractor can help).
Don’t worry, take care of yourself and you’ll be back to operating forklifts and dock levelers in no time!
Do you have any tips for upper and mid back pain? What time of back pain to find to be most common?