Discovering the Root of Your Back Story: Prevention and Understanding of Back Injuries
This webinar, “Discovering the Root of Your Back Story,” was a great compliment to last weeks webinar, “Ergonomic Safety for Farm Women” put on by the Agridafe Network. This webinar focused strictly on back health for both men and women.
The webinar focused on causes of back pain and injuries, prevention of back pain and injuries, correct lifting technique, whole body vibration, maintaining back health and managing chronic pain.
Back injuries are one of the most common types of injuries when working on the farm.
Causes of back injuries include:
Symptoms may vary from person to person from mild to severe in which it inhibits normal body function.
Symptoms of Back Injuries:
Types of Back Injuries:
Preventing Back Injuries:
Lifting & Carrying:
Inhale deeply before the lift and exhale while lifting.
Working with Livestock:
Prevent back injuries by getting help where needed, use feeding equipment or equipment to handle bales of hay, watch for smaller animals underfoot, and prevent falls from horses. Use animal handling equipment to restrict movement and better position the animal for work as well as handling/safety equipment to reduce direct exposure to the animals such as chutes, pens, and transportation devices.
Often on the farm, there is equipment and machinery that need regular maintenance and back injuries can occur while performing this task.
Prevent back injuries while performing maintenance by:
Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls:
Whole Body Vibration
Occurs when there is mechanical vibration to the human body through a contact surface such as a seat when operating a tractor, skidsteer, forklift, ATV, and similar equipment. Continuous use of this equipment can cause adverse health affects such as speech interference, muscle fatigue and cramping, disruption of balance and perception, increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased breathing rate and low back pain and spine damage. To prevent whole body variation use shock absorbing seats with suspension and maintain the seat in good condition, replace older seats with new ones that have lumbar support, and full cushions.
Other tips to reduce Whole body vibration are:
- Keep tires inflated
- Maintain vehicle suspension system
- Reduce vehicle speed over rough terrain
- Rotate worker between tasks
- Avoid physical demanding tasks for a short time after leaving machinery to allow the back to recover.
Conduct employee training at least one per year and more often if there are frequent back injuries or unsafe acts or conditions observed on the farm.
Maintaining Back Health through strengthening & flexibility by:
Other Healthy Habits:
Manage Chronic pain:
- Massage, heat, Epsom salt baths to relieve muscle tension
- Any treatment is comprehensive and targets physical, emotional and cognitive needs
- See medical treatment when needed.
- Deep breathing or other stress management techniques
- Pace yourself while working
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Incorporate rest, exercise and relaxation into daily schedule
- Decrease or eliminate alcohol consumption
- Know your medication
- Quite smoking
Protect yourself by taking measures early to prevent back problems in the future.