Category Archives: Pain

3 Top Occupations At Risk For Back Pain

Nurses are at the highest risk of getting back pain while working.

Imagine dreading going to work every day. This dread may be because you dislike the job, or your boss, or even your co-workers. However, for thousands of Americans, one of the biggest reasons for dreading the work week is because of pain – back pain in particular.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for 31% of all workers who miss work due to an injury, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. MSDs include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, shoulder injuries, muscles strains, and back injuries. What are the top occupations at risk for back pain? What can we do to prevent it? Are you at risk?

Nurses Are At The Highest Risk Of Back Pain

Compared to other occupations, those who work in nursing – registered nursing as well as certified nursing assistants and aides – are at the highest risk for MSDs and, in particular, back pain. Nurses are not only on their feet for the duration of their shift – ranging from six hours to as long as 12 hours – but they are also constantly lifting, moving, and assisting patients.

Emergency And Prevention Workers At Risk For MSDs

Those in the emergency and prevention industry are also at a high risk for MSDs and back injuries. Such workers as firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics have high physical demanding jobs that require lifting and pulling. This lifting and pulling of oftentimes heavy objects and people puts strain on the back and the musculoskeletal system. It results in injuries to the shoulders and back, in particular.

Laborers And Freight Movers Also At Risk

Employees who work in warehouses and the operation of industrial vehicles are constantly lifting, bending, pulling, tugging, and carrying heavy objects. Many people who work in this industry experience pain in the shoulders, neck, and spine. It can oftentimes result in lifelong disability if left untreated. Furthermore, there is a high risk of workplace accidents from falling, which oftentimes results in debilitating back injuries.

Prevention Of MSDs And Back Pain

It’s difficult to prevent and avoid workplace injuries entirely, especially if it’s the result of an accident. However, taking preventative action may help to reduce your risk to injury from the daily job duties associated with your work. Staying healthy by controlling your weight and getting plenty of rest is essential to reducing injury from physical activity in work such as pulling, lifting, and bending. Making sure you’re conditioning and strengthening those muscles are most used at your job, as well as supporting muscles will also aid in injury prevention. Other preventative measures include:

  • Posture and alignment
  • Lifting properly
  • Resting
  • Maintaining fitness

OSR Physical Therapy Help With MSDs And Back Pain

If you do get injured at work or are experiencing work-associated pain, OSR physical therapists can help you get back to work quickly. With an exercise-based therapy program, along with other specialty rehabilitation techniques, your injuries won’t be debilitating for very long. Contact one of our offices today if you’re experiencing pain due to your work requirements.

Benefits of Foam Rolling

Have you seen people using foam cylinders to roll on muscles? Do you wonder if you should be doing that too?

This practice is commonly referred to as foam rolling or self-myofascial release. It used to decrease muscle “knots”.

Where Do “Knots” Come From?

As the National Academy of Sports Medicine (1) describes it, inflammation activates pain receptors; this leads to heightened activity in particular areas of the muscle. These areas of the muscle become less elastic so that they do not stretch. Holding pressure on these areas can decrease this tension, which can then be followed with stretching techniques.Additionally, a muscle that does not have optimal length does not have optimal strength. Releasing these “knots,” can be beneficial prior to your strength training.

If you feel muscle tension, want to improve your posture, want to get more out of your strength training, or are involved in sports or activities that require range of motion, you may want to consider trying this technique as part of your regular practice. If you are new to this technique, try holding about 30 seconds or until the spot is 20-30% less tender. If you are experienced, try 90
seconds or until the spot is about 70% less tender.

Here are a few of my favorite techniques. Stay tuned, as we will share more in weeks to come! have a question or want to share ideas? Leave us a reply!


Please be sure to consult with a medical professional prior to trying this if you have any possible contraindications including but not limited to: osteoporosis, active infections, bursitis, bleeding disorders, eczema/skin conditions, healing fractures, poor sensation or circulation, organ failure, blood clot, or are taking anticoagulants.

(1) Clark, MA, Lucett, SC. NASM Essentials of Corrective Exercise Training. Wolters Kluwer Health: Philadelphia. 2011.

How To Do Foam Rolling

Have you ever been curious about those foam rollers?  If so here is an introduction to foam rolling and the what’s, why’s and some how’s.

We will have more videos in the future with even more foam rolling exercises!


Leg Length Differences: Look to the Pelvis for Answers

Leg length differences are thought to affect more than 50% of adults (Cummings et al , Spine, 1993). Leg length differences of more than 5 mm can predisposed people to asymmetrical joint wear, pain, or injury (Cummings et al, Spine, 1993).

There are many causes for one leg to be longer than the other. Often, the leg difference can be due to a sacroiliac dysfunction or your pelvis being “out of line.” Sometimes this manifests as low back pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, or even shoulder and jaw issues. The good news is that in many cases this can be corrected.


Does this affect you? Here is one person’s story.
There are many stories out there; see if this one is like yours. Feel free to share your experiences as well.


A huge thank you to those Pilates Instructors, and Personal Trainers from around the Twin Cities who took time today to attend continuing education on how to design programs to help people with leg length differences and sacroiliac issues have less pain and improve function.


Here are of some of the exercises presented. They are intended to serve as a review for those who attended the continuing education seminar, as well as spark some ideas and questions for anyone interested in the topic.

Here are links to a few videos in review:

Check back next week for a few more additions!

A huge thank you also goes out to our host studio, LifeTime Fitness at Crosstown. If you would like to connect with instructors, connect with the host site, or would like more information on upcoming continuing education opportunities, please leave a comment.


I look forward to reading your stories, experiences, ideas, and challenges as we create a community of information and education to better health and function.
Note: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of OSR Physical Therapy.

Do Your Feet Hurt?

If your feet or lower legs are bothering you here is a nice way to self myofascial release the fascia of your feet!