What Occupations Lead to Back Pain?

According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, almost a quarter of all work-related health issues that involve missed days are due to back problems. Unfortunately for the human condition, any number of things can injure our backs or pull them out of alignment. If you sit for too long at a desk, your back begins to hurt. On the other hand, if you’re on your feet all day, your back will probably hurt from that too. If you engage in repetitive or awkward motions, it could lead to back pain, and if you lift too much or attempt to do it the wrong way, you’re liable to sustain a serious back injury. It’s important to look after your well-being, and it helps to know which jobs cause back pain.


According to Nurse Buff, nurses do a lot of things while working that cause them to suffer from back pain on the job. First of all, they are almost constantly moving. Unfortunately, some back injuries aren’t obvious until you sit down at the end of the day and discover you’ve been working while hurting for some time. Nurses often have to lift people of their own size or larger, and a nurse who’s feeding a patient or performing some other task may have to stand at an odd angle for a long time, causing muscle stiffness and pain.

Office Personnel

Spending your entire day in a chair can cause a weakened core and may lead to lower back injuries. In addition, some people who sit all day can start slouching. That compounds the problem. According to Chirp, working at a desk often results in a poor posture that can pull at the spine in ways that can cause pain and damage. Getting up and taking a short walk, stretching or just going up and down a flight of stairs can help to realign your spine.

Construction Workers

No matter what part of the construction industry they work in, people in this occupation tend to suffer higher rates of back pain and permanent spinal damage. Part of the problem is lifting, but according to Cole Pain Therapy Group, many construction workers are exposed to a great deal of vibration as well, which also causes back pain. Whether it’s associated with building a road or driving heavy equipment, being exposed to high levels of chatter can lead to nerve damage over time. Finally, construction workers spend a lot of time on uneven surfaces. Stepping down wrong may cause a worker to limp, which can translate to hip pain, which can lead to lower back pain.

Airport Workers

From baggage handlers who have to spend hours grasping, lifting and twisting to the person who checks in your bag and places it on the belt, airport workers are subject to back strain and injury. A lifetime of transferring suitcases from carts to belts and back again can put these employees at greater risk of long-term spinal damage.

Back pain is often far more serious than an occasional ache. Pinched nerves in the upper back can cause severe tics and debilitating headaches. Damage to the lower back can impact leg strength and may ultimately limit sensation in the lower body. If you’re not careful in professions like the ones above, you could get a spinal injury, and those are tough to deal with. Those who suffer from back injuries must be given proper care and time to heal.

Simon Greenberg

Simon is a health tech enthusiast who believes information technology can bring major improvements in healthcare cost and quality. He is currently working on ways to improve how we can connect and interact with our healthcare system. You can find him on and .

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