How Back Pain Can Affect Traditionally Female Occupations

According to The University of Maryland Medical Center , lower back pain is one of the most common complaints people "Back Pain Isn’t Just for Laborers: How it Can Affect Traditionally Female Occupations"have, with 60 to 80 percent of the population suffering from this condition at some point.

Many people associate back pain with more traditionally male types of work such as construction and manual labor, but one of the risk factors for developing the condition is being female, in addition to regularly performing physical or sedentary work, according to an In The Face of Pain fact sheet.

Here is a look at certain predominately female occupations that tend to cause more back problems, as well as what you can do to help prevent or relieve this painful condition.

Childcare Providers

A report released by the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center revealed that childcare workers face a number of potential hazards on the job, with back pain being one of the most common. Researchers found a high risk for work-related ergonomic injury with results indicating that injuries involving the lower back were likely to occur due to the mechanics of lifting, bending, squatting and reaching.

Heavy and repetitive lifting can significantly increase the risk of a back injury, so it’s important to learn proper lifting techniques such as getting as close to the object as possible and utilizing the entire palm of the hand to grip what you are carrying. Lift gradually from the legs and abdomen, being sure to maintain a balanced stance with feet at shoulder width.

If you aren’t sure if you can safely lift a person or an object, the Safe Lifting Calculator is a helpful app that will provide you with the maximum safe weight for a variety of lifting scenarios.

Office Workers

An Australian study found that 70 percent of office workers experience lower back pain due to sitting for lengthy periods. Utilizing a standing workstation can help reduce the instance of this problem in an office environment.

One study found that the use of a gym ball, like the GoFit Professional Stability Ball, in place of an office chair may contribute to a significant reduction in symptoms of back pain. Frequent walking or stretch breaks are also important, but many diligent workers seem to forget to do this. The Office Exercise & Stretch app can help remind employees to get up out of that chair to help prevent low back pain and other health issues.


The University of Minnesota reports that Healthcare workers as a whole are said to suffer from musculoskeletal disorders at a higher rate than those who work in manufacturing or construction mining, with 52 percent complaining of chronic back pain. As many as 12 percent of nurses leave their profession due to suffering from this condition. There are a number of studies that have shown using mechanical patient lifts can significantly reduce back and other musculoskeletal injuries.

Being in good physical shape is also an important factor for preventing back injuries. Those who maintain strong and flexible muscles and an optimal weight are less likely to get hurt. Correct body mechanics, proper lifting techniques and performing trunk stability exercises can prevent a back injury, according to a Boca Raton, Florida physical therapist.

Many nurses and other professionals who suffer from chronic back pain may have already passed the point of prevention. You may be surprised to learn that minimally invasive outpatient procedures can be a more effective alternative to traditional back surgeries. Take time to review the articles from medical journals featuring procedures to determine if this might be an option for relieving your pain.


About the author – Melissa Hubbard dedicated herself to living an active, healthy lifestyle eight years ago, and she’s never felt better. She writes health and wellness articles for a number of blogs.