We all know that construction work is very physically demanding, but just how bad is it for your back? We looked into the issue of construction workers and back pain; here’s some of what we found:
Back pain is very common in the construction industry.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, studies show a “high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain”, with chronic back pain being experienced by “40% of construction workers over age 50”. The 2012 study also found that workers over 50 whose longest-held job was in the construction industry were 32% more likely to experience persistent back pain or other back issues than those not in construction. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that the University of Iowa “found that 70 percent of construction workers experienced low-back pain over a one-year period.” The Scientific World Journal shows that construction workers the world over are suffering this way. In a recent study on musculoskeletal pain in construction workers in Saudi Arabia, “Of the 165 construction workers, 80 (48.5%) reported musculoskeletal pain. The majority of respondents had pain in the low back (50%)” and 1.6% had upper back pain.
Why Do Construction Workers Experience so Much Back Pain?
The nature of the job provides many risk factors. Spine Health pinpoints the repetitive bending and lifting required of construction workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Advisory Committee on Construction Occupational Safety and Health places the blame on “repeated lifting of materials, by sudden movements, whole body vibration, lifting and twisting at the same time, [and] bending over for long periods of time”. According to OSHA, working as a laborer or scaffold erector can be particularly bad for workers’ backs. Several other risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders, including back issues, are identified by OSHA, including “floor surfaces and obstacles in the work area,” housekeeping practices, the height of the work, whether the work is within the worker’s capacity, techniques used for lifting, tool belts, and temperature.
What To Do About Construction Workers’ Back Pain
Workplace safety is an important way to minimize harm to construction workers’ backs. If pain already exists, medical treatment may be necessary. Chiropractic treatment can be a good option for treating back pain. At the Proactive Chiropractic and Rehab Center, we offer a variety of treatment options for back pain, including adjustments, exercise and stretching techniques, and proper nutrition and good lifestyle choices. Contact us for more information.