It’s Not Just Desk Workers & Bricklayers Who Get Back Pain

 It’s not just bricklayers and desk workers who we need to look after. It’s often the professions you don’t think about that struggle with some of the biggest postural and spinal health issues.

This blog post is regarding one of our clients who was telling me how in the workplace, posture and spinal health are often disregarded. This client is a makeup artist but this article is directed to all the industries where posture and spinal health may not be at the forefront of health and safety. If you are in this bracket, please let us know.

It’s so important that where you work has a good setup. We often think that people who sit behind desks have the best ergonomic assessments and are given special care from occupational health in order to reduce back and neck issues. It is common knowledge that sitting is bad for you so we draw attention to it in the form of assessments and health and safety. Lifting bricks all day we know isn’t ideal long term, so we put the proper health and safety measures in place.

So it did come as a surprise when a make-up artist told me she was suffering with back pain whilst at work. I thought naively how can that be? Just because they aren’t sitting all day doesn’t mean they aren’t at risk of back pain.

This particular make-up artist we’ve been treating for a long-term back issue has no choice in terms of the way that she moves around and how she sits with people.

So very often when you look at health and safety for make-up artists and beauty salons, they will look at skin products, issues of getting things in eyes, but never really about the posture and the spinal health.

 

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So What Does A Make Up Artist Need To Do

  • Stands for 30-60 minutes manoeuvring around a client often under time pressure and inability to stop for a break or stretch. Many of you will have been to weddings or been part of weddings where the hair and make-up team come in and will do between 2 and 10 hair and make-up events, which could take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. I know with my wife, it started very early in the morning. She has my mother-in-law and a whole team of bridesmaids.
  • Has a client in an awkward position for up to 60 minutes. Often not on an adjustable seat, they could be sitting on a sofa whilst the make up artist has to work their way around and put their back in awkward positions.
  • Carry heavy kit-often film sets are in obscure places and they must carry all their gear across farmland to get to the site. If you have picked one of those boxes up you know what I mean.
  • Demanding and high profile clients that are under pressure to perform or look their best. Who won’t necessarily understand if the make up artist is at risk.

 

What Can We Do To Help Them?

So how can we bring more attention to the fact that they are putting stress on their spine and offer some advice for people starting out in certain industries like this? I include dentistry, hairdressing in these as well.

We have seen a lot of teachers and musicians recently who sit or stand for long periods with guitars and compromise their spines.

  • Adjustable stools in the workplace so clients can be put to the height of the artist.
  • Ergonomic assessments to take place while the artist is working to check on
  • An awareness in the workplace that make up artists are under pressure time wise and physically.
  • Schools and colleges building posture assessments and spinal health in to the curriculums from an early age.

 

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It’s really important that we do draw attention to this so there are not long-term issues caused with the people in this type of working bracket and as the start from the colleges, to get people aware and so employers are aware that we do need to be looking after their health.

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