All In a Day's Work: Care for Back Pain

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Listen to your body, whether it is that annoying ache in your back, or that trick knee that keeps acting up. Back pain is treatable.


Listen to your body, whether it is that annoying ache in your back, or that trick knee that keeps acting up. Always avoid phrases like, "He is such a pain in the neck." Your body will answer "yes" and you'll be wondering later why your neck aches.

Here are four simple tips to stay body wise.

If You Sit While You Work

The first requirement is a comfortable chair that provides adequate support. Your chair should allow you to sit all the way back with the thighs level and feet resting flat on the floor. If you're too short to have your feet reach the floor, use a stool for them. To stay alert and to loosen your body, workers should change position every 30 minutes--get-up, stretch, stand, and move about.

If You Stand at Work

If your job requires prolonged standing, you want to find a good shoe to keep fatigue down to a minimum. Your shoes should fit properly and have a thick enough sole for protection. The next thing to check is your working posture. The average standing worker tends to slump into grotesque positions in order to shift his weight from one side to the other. A better way of relaxing without throwing the body into poor alignment is to stand with one foot forward for a time and then reverse, alternating the position of the feet at intervals.


If You Have to Lift

There are always methods of conserving strength. Pivoting a heavy packing case to move it conserves energy and prevents back strain since lifting is avoided. The individual is in balanced alignment, which enables him to make good mechanical use of his body; his muscles are contracted as he pivots the case on one corner, and he can get the most work done with the least amount of effort.

If lifting heavy objects is a must, back strain can be eliminated by stooping down with trunk upright, and accomplishing the lift by putting the greatest strain on the muscles of the legs and thighs.

Your Body Position

Any one-sided use of the body may lead to a serious distortion. Some workers who use adding machines have a habit of placing the machine far to the right and the material they are copying to the left. If this gets to be a habit, it may contribute to a spinal curvature causing great discomfort. This applies also to workers who operate a machine with one hand and use the same hand all the time. If the position of the machine and worker permits, it is wise to alternate both hands. If not, some two-handed activity, such as swimming or chinning, is highly recommended as a corrective exercise.

Remember these four simple tips to stay body wise. Love your body and it will respond. Do not refer to any part of your body as "bad. For example, "I have a bad knee." By following the above suggestions, anyone can cut down considerably on the stresses and strains that develop during a day's work. If pains and aches develop despite these preventive steps, it may be necessary to consult your chiropractor, who has the best means of restoring you to normal health.


Wayne McDonald is the founder of

Wayne McDonald