A back injury can have a severe effect on the quality of your life. Unfortunately back injuries are a very common problem amongst adults. In fact, 80% of adults will experience at least one back injury in their lifetime. Once you get one back injury you are much more susceptible to reinjury.
This is why it is crucial to try and prevent these injuries from happening in the first place. Simply Self Storage has created a very helpful infographic that details how to prevent back injury as well as some therapeutic stretches you can do in the event of an injury. Below you will find some of the top tips as well as the infographic.
Proper lifting technique includes:
- Keep a wide base of support: Your feet should be spread at about shoulders width apart with one foot slightly ahead of the other. This ensures that you have a sturdy base and better stability.
- Keep your chest forward: By keeping your chest forward, you are helping to keep your back aligned and your abdominals engaged. Your head should be straightforward and you need to keep your upper back straight and in the best possible alignment.
- Lift with the legs: Make sure that you are squatting down to lift the object- do not bend at your back. Bend at the knees and engage your leg muscles.
- Lead movement with the hips: Your body should be facing forward and your motions should be lead by your hips- this will help keep your posture in check.
- Keep heavy objects close to your body: Avoid lifting heavy objects over your head. Instead keep them close to your body- this will help you stay balanced and ensure that the weight of the object is distributed evenly.
- Push objects rather than pull: Pushing an object is safer because you can rely largely on your leg power and not rely on your back.
Sometimes accidents happen and now you ended up with a back injury. If the injury is manageable from home then do these stretches daily on a soft but firm surface, like a yoga mat. If your pain is unbearable or doesn’t improve, make sure to see a doctor.
Therapeutic stretches include:
- Supine Knees to Chest: Lay on your back and pull your knees in slowly towards your chest. Hug your knees and feel the lower back stretch.
- Supine Spinal Twist: While on your back stretch your arms out wide, and twist one leg over the other- keep your leg as straight as possible.
- Cat/Cow Pose: Begin from a hands and knees position. For cow, you lower and arch your back. For cat, you raise your back up while keeping your hands and knees planted. Move slowly and alternate between the two.
- Cobra Stretch: Start on your stomach, and using your arm muscles lift your head, chest, and upper abdomen off of the floor.
- Child’s Pose: Start on your hands and knees and and lower your behind onto your heels and let your torso dip down toward the floor. Stretch your arms out forward along the floor and let your forehead rest on the floor as well.
Infographic Source: https://www.simplyss.com/blog/prevent-back-injuries/
We hope that you can take these preventative measures and better protect yourself from lifting related injuries. In the event of an injury, make sure that you take care of yourself and stretch your back out. Always make sure you are aware of what you are doing and plan out any strenuous lifting ahead of time!