The daily tasks of a welder require a great deal of repetitive movement, which involve bending and twisting at angles that can cause immediate or chronic pain in the neck. However, there are adjustments that can be made which will safeguard the long-term health of your neck and spine to reduce the likelihood of discomfort.
Here are 5 strategies to avoid neck pain while welding:
- Proper posture: Poor posture for sustained periods of time can lead to neck and back pain. Try to maintain proper posture when you are not forced to bend for welding or cutting. It is also imperative to maintain sitting straight up and keeping your shoulders back when you are not at work as the tendency to hunch over becomes a habit and increases the presentation of pain.
- Stretching: To avoid neck pain and other bodily aches, there are stretches you should perform during the workday, such as squeezing your shoulder blades together; lifting your head as if you were carrying a book on it; putting your hands on your hips and leaning backwards; tucking your chin in and extending it upwards; putting your arm across your body and lightly pushing on your elbow into your body.
- Adjust the height of the materials: Avoid stooping or bending by raising or lowering materials so that your head is not bent for long periods of time.
- Ask for help: If you feel strained when lifting a heavy object or notice you are hyperextending your arms to perform a task, ask for help from your coworkers.
- Helmet adjustments: Purchase a lighter-weight helmet and make it a habit to manually lower the helmet versus nodding to avoid neck pain and strain.
- Take breaks: It may be tempting to work through your 15 minute break to get a project completed, but you must spend time stretching to give your neck and muscles a much-needed rest.
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