Lower back pain most common complaint among workers

Retail workers and labourers are more likely to suffer some form of pain than those who work in an office, with lower back pain the most common ailment among the workforce.

According to the 2018 Pain Index, which was compiled by pain therapist Liebscher & Bracht, a high proportion of workers reported pain in their lower back, followed by pain in the neck, shoulder and knee.

The survey of 8,000 chronic pain sufferers found that almost two-thirds of women experienced lower back pain, compared to 55% of men.

Overall, retail workers were most likely to suffer lower back pain. Two-thirds (66%) of women in retail reported that they experienced lower back pain, compared with 56% of men in retail positions.

Labourers and office workers were most likely to experience neck pain (55%), while more than half (51%) of labourers said they felt pain in their shoulders.

The study split up pain-sufferers by gender and age, and into six occupations – labourer, office worker, retail worker, athlete, musician and pensioner – to see if certain industries flagged up particular health risks.

Pain specialist Roland Liebscher-Bracht commented: “This study only confirms what we’ve known for a long time about how your everyday working life can have an impact on pain conditions.

“The good news is that by recognising patterns between profession and areas of the body most likely affected, individuals in high-risk groups such as retail can take preventative measures to help them lead a healthy life.”

Liebscher & Bracht recommended that employees who repeat certain movements or stay in a particular position for long periods, such as moving heavy boxes from shelves or sitting in an office chair, would benefit from regular breaks to take a walk or carry out gentle stretches.

It said sleep deprivation could worsen pain conditions, so getting a regular amount of sleep every night could benefit workers.

2 Responses to Lower back pain most common complaint among workers

  1. Avatar
    Robin Lansman 26 Feb 2018 at 8:34 am #

    As an osteopath for 30 years it seems that the time line of issues developing and then not resolving need to be explored more. Many patients present in pain that has built up over months or years.
    There can be an acute sudden onset for no apparent reason. The individual will point to their pain which has no traumatic nor underlying pathology once screened and direct treatment to the most painful area.
    This is often not the way to address the problem. Treatment can be explored and explained and end up being many joints or muscles away form the site of most pain. This is the maintaining factor site due to habit that is the key stone driver in the overall pain and dysfunction and why the problem reoccurs or just never gets better fully.
    The site of pain becomes the unfortunately termed “weak spot” that can become over protected and vulnerable to re aggravation

  2. Avatar
    Gavin Routledge 1 Mar 2018 at 7:45 am #

    There are only three ways to damage your lower back.. peak load, cumulative load, and sustained load. The “answer” is to modify the load, vary the load and to increase the endurance/strength/functional capacity of the individual.

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