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    Construction Work Can Be A Back-Breaking Business

    Posted by Randal DeHart on Fri, Jan 10, 2014

    This Article Is From James Turner

    James is a former chiropractor

    and a HR manager for a mid-size construction firm

    Construction work can be a back-breaking business. The nature of the work is dependent upon strenuous and repetitive bending, lifting, climbing and carrying, which can place intense stress and significant strain on the body. Use the following guide for injury-prevention and pain-treatment solutions.

    Safe Positioning

    Avoid strenuous over-reaching and crouching that can strain the neck, back, shoulder and arm muscles. Always use a step ladder, scaffolding or platform to put you in a more safe and comfortable position that minimizes a risk of falling and overworking muscles. Bending over and kneeling can be just as hazardous on the lower back. Sit on a stool or support the knees with padding while kneeling and working on lower surfaces. Shoe inserts, custom orthotics and alternating among standing, kneeling and sitting can help alleviate discomfort from staying stagnant for long periods of time. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) also recommends the following equipment for easy and safe movement:

    • Knee dollies

    • Kneeling creepers

    • Creeper with chest support for supportive forward leaning

    • Truck lockers, bins and shelves for organization

    • Truck bed slides or roll-out truck drawers for secure heavy lifting

    Properly Using Tools & Equipment

    Prevent wrist fatigue and painful conditions, such as tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, by properly handling tools and adopting these ergonomic pointers:

    • Use padded, cushioned or soft handles to help keep wrists straight and mitigate stress.

    • Avoid handles with sharp edges, grooves or ridges that can increase stress.

    • Use power tools instead of air tools to create less torque and reduce force, suggests the ACA.

    • Make sure tools in a tool belt are balanced to protect the spine. Lighten the load of the belt and remove the belt as a break whenever possible.

    • Wear anti-vibration gloves and keep hands warm while handling jackhammers and drills to minimize impact. The ACA warns power tools and impact wrenches that vibrate intensely have high risks of causing "hand-arm vibration syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome, reduced circulation, paresthesias and pain."

    Chiropractic Care, Healthy Spine Exercises & Stretching

    Adjusting the spinal column will properly align each vertebrae and provide proper balance. Proper balance and spinal alignment can help reduce stress and strain from repetitive bending, lifting, twisting and carrying heavy objects.

    Dr. Heath Gallentine, DC, also promotes the following chiropractic treatments and techniques to treat back pain and injuries:

    • Active release to treat nerve, muscle and connective tissues

    • Cold laser to increase cellular metabolism and remove adhesions that block movement and cause pain

    • Spinal decompression for a supportive cervical spine and thoracic vertebrae

    • Massage treatment for muscle relaxation and back pain reduction

    Laser Spine Institute provides exercise video series to reduce and prevent spinal-related pain and problems. The Daily Activities exercise videos will promote "effective body mechanics and postural awareness activities," according to Laser Spine Institute. Visit spine-exercises.com for decompression posture, postural alignment, bending and lifting exercises. Integrating chiropractic care with spinal exercises will optimize pain recovery and treatment.

    Lastly, stretch in the morning. Sellen Construction workers in Seattle experienced sprains and soft tissue injuries early in the day. Release stiffness from the previous day's work with a custom-designed stretching program for construction workers who lift and bend all day. Sellen Construction has been able to eliminate back soreness and reduce injuries with a stretching program that includes unique exercises such as "tin man" and "airplane."

    James Turner is a former chiropractor, and a HR manager for a mid-size construction firm.

    James Turner James is a former chiropractor, and a HR manager for a mid-size construction firm

    Topics: Guest Blogger, James Turner, Chiropractic Care, Healthy Spine Exercises

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