For example, if you notice that someone is bent over or is constantly carrying a heavy load, you probably make the assumption that their job causes their back to hurt. On the other hand, you really don't have to do hard work to end up with significant back pain - even sitting can be painful.
Jobs that cause back pain range from outdoor, hard labor to indoor, light office jobs. In fact, the truth is, the job you're currently working could cause you back pain - but you may not even know what exactly you're doing to your spine each and every single day.
Careers for Men that Cause Back Pain
Men report back pain much more often than women - at least one in 10 male workers report experiencing back pain for at least a solid week each year. So, what are these men doing that causes their back pain? Of course, heavy manual labor is one of the careers to blame. However, those office jobs and skilled professional jobs are also to blame. Following are the top 5 careers that cause back pain in men.
In a 2002 study, carpentry work showed the most and highest reported incidences of pain in male-dominated professions. This is because they are constantly making repetitive motions, bending, twisting, and reaching when they're working. Additionally, this pain can be aggravated with heavy lifting done at work, which leads to a 20 percent rate of back pain in carpenters.
In the past, auto mechanics were grouped in with construction workers, but are slowly emerging as a group of sufferers. They tend to lie on their backs or stand under cars with their arms raised over their heads to work on these vehicles. This position puts a strain on the major muscles located in their back. Additionally, the heavy and/or vibrating tools, as well as the need to reach, bend, and twist while holding heavy vehicle parts leads to back pain among auto mechanics.
While it is true that farm machinery seems to have eased the traditionally back-breaking work of farming, it has not entirely eliminated it. There are still lots of farming tasks that require bending over, heavy lifting, the endurance to stand in one spot, and repetitive motions while working a spot of ground or working with irrigation equipment.
Machine operators are responsible for a wide variety of tasks. However, primarily, they use and/or vibrating equipment as well as equipment that requires repetitive motion to make it work. Finally, standing for long hours, pushing and pulling levers and machine arms can contribute to or cause back pain in machine operators.
This is a career where there is a lot of sitting. The truth is, sitting behind a desk is not a way to avoid back pain. In fact, office workers typically spend eight to ten hours glued to their chair.
They have zero back support and spend a lot of their time hunched over their computer. This causes their muscles to become tight and therefore leads to pain in their backs and hips.
Desk jobs also include the IT sector. They spend countless hours at their desk, hooked to a telephone and a computer. Having a headset for the phone helps somewhat, but they still experience lots of pain.
Other Male Careers
Some of the other top careers that cause back pain in men include general manual labor, professional trades such as plumbing, electrical, or welding work, and driving a truck.
Careers for Women that Cause Back Pain
When you look at the statistics, women have much lower occurrences in back pain than men when it comes to their careers. However, this doesn't mean that they do not experience back pain in their jobs. There are still lots of primarily female jobs that can result in back pain. Following are the top five female-centered careers that cause or contribute to back pain.
Women in the field of nursing put strain and pressure on their backs and they bend over their patients, transfer their patients between beds, and so much more. Additionally, nurses are responsible for lots of paperwork now, which requires them to spend hours hunched over computers and paperwork. It is obvious why nurses have so many more injures to their backs than any other career.
Women in this career spend lots of time scrubbing things down, bending over, carrying cleaning supplies from one room to the next and so much more. These repetitive motions, bending, twisting, and reaching end up causing serious strain on the spine.
Working in a restaurant is definitely considered back breaking work. Being up on your feet all day long, with few- if any- breaks to sit down, carrying heavy dish pans, and repetitively cleaning or chopping puts strain on both upper and lower back muscles.
Until recently, hairdressers were not considered when it comes to back pain. However, recently, researchers have begun to take notice of the fact that salon workers typically stand for long periods of time with their arms up, cutting and styling hair. On the other hand, some of them stay bent over styling hair, doing wax jobs, and more. When you're not able to perform a normal range of motion, repetitively reaching and raising your arms can cause major problems and pain in your muscles.
Childcare workers are always picking up children, toys, sitting in child-size chairs at child-size tables. This puts a strain on their backs. Additionally, is the fact that most of the time, children are carried on one hip, as an uneven load, which throws your spine out of alignment and can cause you to have problems for years to come.
Other Female Careers
In addition to the above careers, other primarily female careers that report experiencing back pain are as follows: assembly line, cashier, textile careers, general manual labor, and even teaching.
Even if you don't see your career listed above, you could still be causing damage to your spine at work. If your job includes any of the following, you are more likely to experience back pain at some point.
1 - Lifting/Moving heavy objects.
2 - Vibrating tools or standing on shop floors where manufacturing is taking place.
3 - Repetitive motions, especially twisting, bending, or reaching.
4 - Sitting/Standing for a long time.
5 - Working on a computer keyboard or workstation.
Any of these factors can be a red flag that you could be looking at unless you take steps to protect your body from pain, such as proper nutrition and adequate exercise, you will probably have pain at some point.