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Inflexible lumbar spine and twisting contribute to back pain

Most people in Denver have had back pain before, but not nearly as many have been so injured that they can't return to their old job or can't work at all. Severe lower-back pain can and does keep some Colorado employees from working. What may have started as a small injury could eventually lead to numbness in the feet, pain in the legs and mobility issues. In some cases, lower-back pain is the direct result of a serious workplace accident, but it is also possible that someone could develop debilitating lower-back pain by repeating the same job-related action over and over.

The spine can be a fairly flexible portion of the body, but it is the lower back, or the lumbar spine, that cannot move as far as the thoracic spine, or the mid back. Since the vertebrae of the lumbar spine cannot stand as much twisting, turning and torquing, overuse can quickly lead to a lower-back injury.

Twisting the upper and middle back can be one cause for the muscle strains that lead to disabling back pain. Anyone who is required to turn his or her torso throughout the day could eventually develop a strain or tear that will put him or her out of work. In some of the more serious cases, employees can actually injure their spinal cords, which will most likely take longer to heal than a muscle tear.

Although strengthening the gluteal muscles will reduce an employee's chance of injuring his or her lower back at work, it should ultimately be the employer's responsibility to provide an environment that will not injure its workers. If twisting is an important function of the job, employers may need to evaluate whether a process can be done differently that reduces the stress on an employee's lower back.

Source: Golf Digest, "Fitness Friday: A remedy for lower back pain," Roger Schiffman, Feb. 3, 2012

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Eley Law Firm
2000 S. Colorado Blvd. No. 2-740
Denver, CO 80222

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