Back injury

From ArticleWorld

A back injury represents any kind of injury of the spine and its associated muscles. The spine is very vulnerable to injuries, because, while quite flexible, it carries most of the load of the torso and is highly stressed during lifetime. The spinal cord has an essential role in the execution of everyday tasks, and irreversible damages to it may lead to severe disabilities.


There are various causes that can trigger back injuries. Repeated overstress of the spine, including injuries occurring while carrying, holding or lifting heavy objects often cause serious back injuries. Some factors increase the risk of back injury, including body size, age, general health state, physical fitness and sex.


Due to the increasing number of back injury cases, most countries have introduced laws that require the employers to take some preventive measures.

Several administrative measures can be taken, including:

  • Strength testing of all workers. Strength testing may allow a better assignment of tasks, so that workers with higher risk of back injury are not endangered by tasks inappropriate to their condition.
  • Physical training, in order to improve the general physical condition and health state
  • Special lifting techniques training, to minimize the amount of stress on the spine and lower back.
  • Reducing the weight of the objects that are to be lifted, and ensuring that their handling can be done correctly.
  • Ensuring that the objects are not to be lifted above the shoulders or under the knees, actions which involve a greater amount of stress.

Preventing back injury is a great concern of modern engineering and ergonomics studies, because damage to the spinal cord can lead to very severe conditions. Common work regulations already include some or all of the above measures, and they are in course of implementation in other legal systems.