What can you do to avoid back injuries?
Studies show that 8 out of 10 people will experience back pain or injury. Every job, whether performed at a desk or on a shop floor, requires good back health, so proactively preventing back injuries is key. Three practices may help avoid serious problems: lift safely, sleep correctly and keep up with core conditioning.
When possible, use lift-assist devices for heavier objects. When you can’t avoid lifting, remember to reduce the amount of pressure placed on the back. Here’s how:
- Keep feet apart, back straight, and chin tucked for alignment, stability and power.
- Keep arms and elbows tucked in and grip the object with your whole hand for more gripping and lifting power.
- Bend your legs, then lift by straightening the legs. The leg muscles will carry the load instead of your back.
A poor sleeping position can create back stress. The best sleeping positions are:
- On your side with knees slightly bent
- On your back with a pillow under knees
Regular exercise can improve overall fitness and lower the likelihood of back problems and injury. Core muscles surround your midsection, support spine and torso movement, and coordinate limb motion. Strong core muscles improve posture, balance and stability. They can also reduce back and neck pain.
If you have trouble doing core-centered exercises, try alternatives like swimming, walking, or bike riding. Always check with your doctor before you increase your activity level.