published on 6/23/2015 2:40:35 PM in World and Machinery
Who hasn’t ever complained of having a backache after a long day on the job? Hours and hours driving the tractor, exposed to vibrations and constant bouncing; getting in and out of the tractor cabin; and transporting loads and equipment. How do you feel after a day like this? Like a wreck, no doubt, with sharp pains in your lower back. Or maybe you have recurring sciatic nerve problems as well as neck and shoulder discomfort.
Our friends in the farming business know better than anyone else how the work in the fields hits hard at the end of the day. How to avoid back pain from the job? Here are some good tips to follow.
1. Choose the right vehicle for you
One of the main causes of back pain is due to the vibrations that are transmitted from the ground through the seat to the spine while driving. Therefore, when buying a new tractor, check the vibration output values that are listed in the instruction manual. This is important data to consider.
The seat also plays a big part: check out the padding, suspension systems and ergonomics. If you want to read more about “the ideal seat”, click here.
Don’t forget that tires also contribute to reducing vibrations in the cabin. Do not underestimate their importance! For example, our Agrimax Fortis, as well as many other products in the agriculture series, is specially designed for maximum riding comfort. It reduces bouncing and impacts in the cabin even when transporting heavy loads.
Last, but not least, is technology. In fact, the most modern tractors are equipped with rear cameras that give the drivers “extra eyes” during maneuvers. A huge help if you consider the fact that many back injuries are caused by straining (leaning and turning forward/backwards) in determining how much space is needed for a maneuver or in reverse gear.
2. Take breaks
Sitting too long is never good for your back, let alone sitting aboard a tractor. It is important to take breaks every three to four hours. Get down from the tractor, and stretch your leg and back muscles. Doing these small actions will make a big difference in your health!
3. Don’t jump off your tractor
While on the job, you're subjected to vibrations. And even though you might have the best seat that cushions blows to the body, your vertebral discs will inevitably compress because of your position at the wheel. In addition, repeated blows to your back from jumping off the tractor from as high as the cabin, will cause compressing of the spine. You run the risk of developing serious back and neck pain.
We suggest getting down from the tractor slowly, using all the steps on the ladder down the cabin. Of course, this takes more time - a precious commodity you don’t always have. And of course, you have to get on and off your tractor many times throughout the day, but we assure you that taking a few extra seconds and using the ladder is well worth it. Your back will thank you for it.
4. Listen to your body
We would like to leave you with a few suggestions that you should always keep in mind:
- Exercise on a regular basis: if you are in good shape, your body is more resistant and is less fatigued. We know your work isn’t sedentary and that every day it seems as though you go through physical strength training. But working out and working are not the same thing. While on the job, you repeat the same movements and chances are you use the same muscle groups over and over, while regular exercise trains your entire body and works different muscle groups.
- Don’t use more muscle strength than the job requires - you run the risk of straining muscles.
- Do warm up exercises and stretching before, after and during working hours. A short walk and a few seconds warming down, shaking out your legs, arms and neck is all you need!
- Bend your knees and use your leg muscles, not your back muscles, when picking up loads. To avoid straining your back, try keeping it straight.
- When carrying a load, distribute the weight equally in your arms. Holding more weight on one side of your body requires greater exertion and can cause back muscular pain.
- If you have to lift a load up to your shoulders, try not to turn or pivot, instead, turn your entire body in order to avoid twisting your spinal cord.
If you follow these little tips, we are more than sure your back will thank you!
Have you ever had a backache after a day on the job? Do you know other foolproof remedies? Share them with us.