Take Care of Your Back

Orientation of vertebrae

Back injury is one of the most common types of injury. Back injuries usually occur because of repetitive movement of the spine over the years. While muscles can heal, disc injuries cannot be reversed. It is the accumulation of bending that causes tissue changes. Therefore, when you move, it is important to maintain the inward curve of the low back. This is called hip hinge bending, and it is useful while standing or sitting. Avoid bending the low back forward when you lift.

Keep the loads close to you. The spine works three times harder when the load is away from your body. For example, if you lift a 12-pound weight away from your body, the spine feels the weight of 36 pounds.

The spine is not a strong while twisting as it is at mid line.  Point a foot in the direction you are moving or turn your feet as you move so you can avoid twisting.

Keep fit. If you weigh more, the spine has to work harder. If you are tired, you are at more risk for injury. If you are strong, there is less risk for injury.

Get assistance if the weight is too heavy to lift yourself. What is the heaviest weight you can lift?  Don’t try to lift more than that.

Use good posture while you sit at the computer. This minimizes the load on the spine.

Avoid prolonged bending. For example, you could sit down or kneel in the garden, or you could stand up and stretch after a few minutes of bending. Use a duster on a stick so you don’t bend repetitively.

Take care of your back for good health.

Can you think of other ideas that would help you take care of your back?

 

Submitted by Amber Hahn, physical therapist at Agnesian HealthCare

 

About Sarah Schultz

Sarah is a Licensed Athletic Trainer at Sports, Spine and Work Center. She provides Athletic Training services at Campbellsport High School and provides Industrial Services to the community through WorkSTEPS testing, the Work Hardening Program and doing ergonomic evaluations. She is an avid cyclist and barefoot runner. Sarah’s other interests include dynamic stretching, core strengthening, rehabilitation, muscle recovery techniques, and sports nutrition.

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