Heavy Lifting in Youth Linked to Back Pain Later in Life

Tuesday September 27, 2016

"Teaching correct lifting technique is important from an early age to help prevent back pain later in life"

Teresa Taylor | ttaylor@peabodyinc.com

According to a study conducted by researchers at the Finnish Institute for Occupational Health, young adults who engage in work that involves heavy lifting and forceful movements could be at an increased risk of developing back pain later in life.

Researchers surveyed 738 Finnish men and women between the ages of 18 and 24, and then followed up with that same group 20 years later. For both men and women, the likelihood of developing lower back pain roughly doubled among workers who had engaged in heavy lifting when they were younger.

Researchers suggest that one reason for the disparity might be that younger workers who don’t use proper lifting techniques or equipment are able to heal faster or work through the pain when they are younger. However, as they age, repeated stress and injury catches up with them, increasing the likelihood of developing lower back pain.

The researchers suggested that both workers and employers should take the time to learn and implement proper lifting techniques, especially among young workers, to reduce the risk of pain or musculoskeletal injury.