Back pain – don’t suffer in silence! (updated)

1 Apr

Update: April 2011

Results of survey of early years and primary teaching professionals (1 April 2011)

Back pain – don’t suffer in silence

Have you experienced back, neck, shoulder, hip or knee discomfort? The chances are that if you work with young children you will have!

Are you familiar with sitting on children's plastic chairs, stooping over and working at low tables, kneeling to assist children at the computer? If so, you are putting yourself at risk of developing a work-related musculoskeletal injury.

There is an inescapable problem facing all adults who work with young children height difference! As education staff communicate with and assist children at low heights, damaging postures are often adopted. These include repetitive bending, twisting and over-stretching of the spine, along with hip joint strain, neck and shoulder muscle overuse from sitting (with your knees higher than your hips) on children's chairs.

Research undertaken on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2006 found that 75% of primary school teachers suffered ongoing discomfort and pain due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as back, shoulder and neck problems, with 25% not reporting them to their employer. Alarmingly, nearly all teachers surveyed considered aches and pains as 'part of the job'.

What can be done?

  • Dedicate staff meeting time to discuss experiences and risks. Share findings with your union health and safety representative.

Please share your thoughts and experiences

With thanks to Lorna Taylor, Children First Physiotherapy.

First published: April 2010

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4 Responses to “Back pain – don’t suffer in silence! (updated)”

  1. Tom Wates 14. Apr, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Well done Lorna, this is such an important topic that must be flagged up to everyone who works with young children. I worked as a primary teacher for 10 years and bad backs are a recurring issue that I came across in every school.

    I can’t believe this issue hasn’t been tackled before.

  2. travel 14. Apr, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out the new stuff you post.

  3. Mitchell Tukuafa 06. May, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    By growing the discomfort, it causes your discomfort to reduce the pain. Stretching is an important activity and by these movements you are able to decrease back pain. Doctors claimed that several of their patients complained of this disorder and consequently missing a day’s function. You can find numerous sorts of back pains, it may be just as mild as a dull ache or 1 that causes extreme discomfort and agony. Very first step is understanding.

  4. Assunta Isaza 09. Oct, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    These are rare and significant conditions related to back painsOther factors can trigger back aches. Poor posture and body mechanics, emotional anxiety, heavy weight and obesity, anemia, whiplash, cancer discomfort, diabetes, aging and piriformes syndrome.Arthritis. Osteoarthritis generally hits the joints of the hands, hips, hands and lower body. It causes the narrowing of the spine and spinal cord, leading spinal stenosis which is generally as a result of aging.

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