How can I manage the back pain I have from my injury at work?

Most of the workers’ compensation claims our Georgia practice handles includes back injuries and back pain from related injuries. Back pain often follows a work-related lifting injury, a fall at work, or workplace injuries to knees that alter the injured worker’s gait. Below are some suggestions for dealing with back pain that can relieve aching backs and limit the use of narcotic pain medications:

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1) Alter how you stand. Don’t slouch. Keep one foot in front of the other with knees slightly bent.

2) Alter how you sit. Again, don’t slouch. Keep knees slightly higher than hips to support the low back.

3) Alter how you sleep. Reduce pressure on your low back by sleeping on your side with a small pillow between your knees.

4) Alter how you use the phone. Get a headset if you use the phone a good bit during the day to avoid that awkward craning of the neck often needed while taking notes during a phone call.

5) Take a walk. Stress increases back pain. Exercise and fresh air can help.

6) Watch your diet. Gaining weight makes back pain worse. Limiting intake of fats and carbs, especially when an injury is preventing your usual exercise regime, can help.

7) Change your position frequently. I often see clients struggle to sit for an entire workers’ compensation deposition when there has been a back injury at work. Stretch and relax every 15 minutes or so when having to sit or stand for extended periods.

8) Consider quitting smoking. Perhaps you’ve needed a big enough motivation for the past several years. Restricted blood flow from nicotine will decrease the cushioning in your vertebrae. This means more pain. Stopping the nicotine addiction will help.

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