Back Pain: Pointers to Dodge Injury

Back pain can be a game changer. It can take a toll on your overall attitude and complicate the most routine tasks. Getting out of bed. Tying your boots. Lifting grain bags.

Can you relate to this farmer?

Farmer with Back Pain

Fortunately, back pain is preventable.

Maintaining Good Posture

Nebraska AgriAbility reminds us, “Stooping and slouching places strain on your muscles and ligaments. Maintaining good posture while standing and sitting is a great way to prevent back pain while working on the farm. Proper posture prevents abnormal wearing on joint surfaces, decreases muscle fatigue, prevents muscle strain, and decreases stress on the ligaments in the back.” (Problem: Pain in the BACK [PDF] by Rae Chael Zabokrtsky, OTS, Creighton University)

7 “Dos” to Reduce your Risk of Injury

Source: Farming with Chronic Back Pain by Ohio State University Extension

  1. Adjust the tractor seat so your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  2. Wear boots with high-quality insoles to support your ankles.
  3. When changing directions, turn with the feet—NOT at the waist. This will avoid a twisting motion.
  4. Use proper lifting posture every time you lift an object. Use your legs to lift, instead of your back. 
  5. When carrying items, keep them close to your body.
  6. Use long-handled tools to increase leverage and reduce the need to bend or reach.
  7. “Push” rather than “pull” objects.

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