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November 7, 2016

7 Ways Electricians Can Relieve Lower Back Pain

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As an electrician, you spend a lot of your day crouched over low areas or forcing your body into uncomfortable positions to reach wiring and electrical components. In our previous article, we discussed various health problems electricians can face and what you can do to prevent them. One of the health problems we mentioned was lower back pain.

In this blog, we’ll talk about seven different ways you can help relieve any lower back pain you may develop.

1. Exercise

Simply staying active can help relieve lower back pain. Not only does exercise give your body reprieve from the static positions you hold while working but activity also allows your muscles to work and stay loose. Exercise also creates endorphins which can work like a painkiller to alleviate your symptoms. When exercising, however, make sure to stay away from strenuous activities that can cause more back pain.

2. Keep Good Posture

While you’ve probably heard it again and again, the importance of keeping good posture is worth repeating. Most people have poor posture, even if they don’t spend all day leaning over their work. Even little tasks like leaning over the sink while washing dishes can make your back pain worse. Since electrical work does sometimes require uncomfortable positions, make doubly sure you maintain good posture outside of work.

3. Strengthen Core

Your entire torso is made up of a combination of muscle groups that must always work together. If your abdominal muscles aren’t that strong, your back muscles have to make up for it. This extra strain causes lower back pain. To help in that area, focus some of your exercising on strengthening your core.

4. Use Heat or Cold Therapy

You may be surprised to see how much difference heat or cold therapy can make for relieving your pain. These methods can also help speed up healing, making your pain go away quicker. If your lower back pain comes from a specific injury, use cold therapy first before switching to heat therapy. As for heat therapy, you can use a heat pack, hot water bottle, or even just a hot bath to loosen muscles and relieve pain.

5. Optimize Sleep Habits

Sleep gives your body time to heal, but poor sleep habits can increase back pain. When it comes to mattresses and pillows, what works best for you is simply what’s most comfortable. Search out options for mattress firmness that matches your preferences. Many people find contoured pillows help neck strain, which in turn helps back pain.

As for sleeping positions, while you may not be able to switch from being a stomach sleeper to a back sleeper, there are ways to relieve pain with just about any position. If you tend to sleep on your back, keep a pillow between your knees and the mattress. If you sleep on your stomach, position a pillow underneath your pelvis and lower abdomen. If you sleep on your side, sleep with a pillow between your knees.

6. Stretch and Increase Flexibility

Often, lower back pain stems from too much tension in the body. To relieve this tension, increase your flexibility. Focus on stretches designed to target your hamstrings and lower back muscles that keep those crucial muscles loose. During work, take breaks and perform some light stretches as needed.

7. Go to a Specialist

If your pain is particularly bad or comes from an injury, go to a specialist. Physical therapists can help you develop an exercise plan that targets all the necessary muscle groups, strengthens your core, and keeps you active without being too strenuous. Chiropractors can also help your spine start to recover from habitually bad posture.

Try to develop these habits early on in your electrician apprenticeship to help ease any future back pain you may have.