Back Pain and Repetitive Motion Injuries

Anyone can get a repetitive strain injury. Workers with physically demanding jobs and people who sit at a desk or use a computer often are at an increased risk of developing back pain and repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). These injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Carrying heavy loads
  • Bending and twisting repeatedly
  • Poor posture when sitting or standing
  • Working in awkward positions

Causes of Back Pain and Repetitive Motion Injuries

The causes of back pain and RSIs in postal workers can be divided into two categories:

  • Physical factors: These include the tasks that workers perform on a daily basis, such as lifting heavy objects, carrying heavy loads, bending and twisting repeatedly, and using vibrating tools.
  • Ergonomic factors: These include the way that work spaces are set up, such as the height of their workstations, the type of chairs they use, and the amount of space you have to move around.

How to Prevent Back Pain and Repetitive Motion Injuries

There are a number of things that you can do to prevent back pain and RSIs, including:

  • Lifting safely: Lift heavy objects with the help of a coworker or a mechanical device. Bend your knees when lifting, keep your back straight, and use your legs to do the lifting.
  • Carrying safely: Try not to carry heavy loads by yourself. Use a cart or a dolly to transport heavy loads.
  • Bending and twisting safely:  If you can avoid bending and twisting at the waist. Instead bend your knees and keep your back straight when performing these tasks.
  • Arranging their work space ergonomically: If possible arrange your work space so that you can work in a comfortable and efficient manner. This includes adjusting the height of their workstations, using the right type of chair, and having enough space to move around.

How are back pain and repetitive strain injuries diagnosed?

See your medical provider if symptoms make it difficult for you to do your day-to-day activities, like your job.

Your healthcare provider will conduct a physical exam. They may ask your symptoms and if any of your daily activities increase your symptoms. Your provider may need a few imagining tests to diagnose a repetitive strain injury.

You can prevent back pain and repetitive stress injuries by following safe lifting and carrying techniques and arranging your work space ergonomically.