Occupations at the Highest Risk of Chronic Back Pain

Dec 20, 2019 | Blog

People are likely to spend most of their waking life at their job, which makes physical health at work crucial. Unfortunately, many tend to get so busy with their day-to-day tasks that physical health gets relegated to the side, or even forgotten completely. As a result, many employees suffer from chronic pains and illnesses brought about by work exhaustion.

A report from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders states that back pain accounts for many employee absences. Whether you’re someone suffering from back pain, or are a health practitioner taking care of patients with such a condition, it’s worth noting which jobs are most at risk. That way, you can take the necessary precautions before it gets worse.


It’s not just sedentary desk jobs that can result in back pain, as those who are constantly on the move can also be afflicted. Medium reveal that nurses experience more back pain than any other profession, due to “bending, twisting, awkward static postures, psychological stress, and frequent heavy lifting”. One reason for this is that US hospitals are understaffed, which means that nurses get less time to rest. Maryville University explain how the rise in unhealthy lifestyle habits and chronic illnesses has led to an increased demand for more nurses. The university also notes how the nation will be short of 100,000 family medicine doctors, which will also put a huge strain on the workload of nurses. As nurses work in understaffed hospitals the risk of back pain greatly increases due to the long hours they have to work. Being on your feet for long periods of time strains your muscles and puts pressure on your spinal nerves, leading to back problems.


Dentists often use special chairs whose height can be adjusted to avoid excessive bending. However, most chairs have little to no back support. Plus, dentists still have to hunch over often in order to properly examine their patients. This leads to some inevitable slouching, which can affect posture and lead to a sore back. Furthermore, the intensive focus that is required of a dentist often means that their posture goes unnoticed.

Construction workers

As previously mentioned, being on the move can cause serious strain on your muscles and nerves. This action, when coupled with heavy lifting, means that construction workers are at serious risk of developing back problems. Constant movements like bending and lifting means that your back is constantly being engaged. There’s also the risk of falling if proper safety equipment is not used, which can cause more serious damage.

Office personnel

This role is typically what comes to mind when talking about back problems. Slouching strains the discs in between your spine. These discs provide support and stability to the spine, which means that damage to these can result in even more back problems. Medical News Today suggests putting your computer to eye level or investing in an ergonomic chair as ways to mitigate these issues. Stretching every half an hour also helps keep muscles relaxed throughout the day.


The rise of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft means that many Americans are glued to the wheel for long hours. Getting stuck in traffic means that drivers can’t often control how much time they spend at the wheel, making breaks few and far between. The good news is that there are lots of customizations within modern cars to better support drivers. Whether it’s leaning the seat more forward or adjusting the mirrors to prevent neck strain, drivers should always make sure they’re comfortable before hitting the road.

If you’re someone with chronic back pain, the good news is that there are lots of treatments available to you. Garden State Pain Management deals in prolotherapy, a non-invasive process that heals inflamed tissues in the body. Ultimately, you want to fix even the most minor pains as soon as possible.

Article specially written for regenpainnj.com By Jolene Mckinley

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